Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Campaign for the live and freedom for young Mapuche Political Prisoner Leonardo Quijón

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Release the young Mapuche Leonardo Quijón Pereira now and give him specialized medical care!

Our young Leonardo is an example of the most serious human rights violations committed against his People, for being Mapuche and fight for their dignity.
On November 27, 2012 he began his second hunger strike this year, demanding his freedom in a new case of which he is accused despite his innocence. His health status is critical and worrisome.
This young man has been living for more than 6 years with harassment, persecution and false accusations of police of the Government of Chile. From September 3, 2012 there began a new attack against his freedom when he voluntarily surrendered himself to justice to declare his innocence in the death of parcel holder Hector Gallardo. Preventive detention was ordered with 4 months of research.

Liquid hunger strike despite serious state of health

On November 27, Leonardo began a second liquid hunger strike demanding Parole under precautionary measures, that the process is speeded up, that all his witnesses are called to testify, that the family of parcel holder Gallardo rectify their statements that accuse him, because he is innocent, and that the expert appraisals are transparent. On December 16, he had to stop the strike because his condition is critical and a dry strike (without ingesting liquids) would be taking the risk of a heart attack which he has already suffered before. At the requests of his family which has already for a long time been in constant concern for the health of this young man and the lack of attention and willingness by the Government, Leonardo Quijón wisely agreed to stop the strike, finishing with 48.500 Kg Start: 54.700 Kg
It was not until December 13 that the precautionary measures were reviewed where he asks for his freedom, justice refused, saying that there is no background information available to make the decision to release him from custody.
The judge requested background information that until now Prosecutor Luis Chamorro has not submitted objectively, and they were not clear either in the statements made by the witnesses. The Prosecutor Chamorro as always eludes the clarity and objectivity in the matter. While the precautionary measures were rejected, the attitude of the Prosecutor is crucial for not doing his job properly lengthening more and more the processes.
Again an abuse of power by the Prosecutor of the Ninth Region of Chile, Luis Chamorro, who still does not accept the acquittal of the youth Leonardo Quijón in 2010 when he accused him of illicit terrorism. Another setup of the Prosecutor to mask the cowardly attack by police against Leonardo Quijón in the year 2009.
Dr Luis Umaña Rosales of the Commission on Human Rights of the Chilean Medical Association wrote in his report on Wednesday, December 12, 2012:

"Leonardo has lost approximately 10 kg in weight, he appears conscious, hydrated, with a crushed spirit, going through a severe depression, cramps and persistent dizziness, insomnia and changes in sleep patterns, plus frequent palpitations.
This prolonged fasting keeps him on the edge of a severe decompensation for his physical and emotional fragility, especially because of a history of cardiac arrest after his previous hunger strike."(1)

It is important to note that Leonardo Quijón joined the hunger strike of the community members to demand a transfer from Temuco to Angol prison to be closer to their families. The strike lasted 23 days, including four days of dry hunger strike, it deteriorated his body even more, which already was critical because of the consequences of the cowardly attack by police in 2009. The police struck him with about 200 shotgun pellets in the left calf when he was hunting rabbits for the subsistence of the family. Although it is already three years since that attack he still has the buckshot in his body and those responsible have not been prosecuted. (2)

I would appreciate it if you would join us to ask the Government of Chile and the Ministry of Justice freedom for Leonardo Quijón and urgent medical care at a specialized clinic before it is too late.

Elena Urrutia
Chairman of Maricheweu (Germany)
Association for human rights of the Mapuche People

December 18, 2012

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