Thursday, October 10, 2013

Daniel Melinao's lawyer charged that the prosecution doctored a video to charge the werkén of the Mapuche community Wente Winkul Mapu

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
This morning in the Court of Collipulli started the hearing on the preparation of the trial against Daniel Melinao, the werkén of Wente Winkul Mapu, accused of being co-author of the death of the policeman Hugo Albornoz, which occurred in April 2012 in the community Wente Mapu Winkul of Ercilla.

Melinao, who has been in preventive detention for at least five months, was represented by the defense attorney Nelson Miranda who this day filed a complaint about a video that had been doctored to implicate Daniel Melinao in the crime of the policeman.

"I filed a criminal complaint for the offense of tampering with possible evidence" Miranda said, adding that "the video presented by the prosecution to the court as evidence, which lasts 15 minutes, does not correspond to the original that lasts 36 minutes, and the 15 minute video is clearly adulterated in that it slows down some pictures and adds some audio, extracting others which obviously generates a sense different from what is in the original video, it seems extremely serious," said defense attorney. 

"This being the main evidence, we find it totally serious that they have been behaving in this way not only to cause prejudice to the defense but also for the clarification of the case," said attorney Nelson Miranda about the video for the prosecution.

Together with the images questioned by the defense, the prosecution presented as evidence the statements of 38 witnesses and 46 experts, as well as documentary evidence and materials.

Daniel Melinao risks sentences totaling 31 years and 301 days in prison for the murder of police sergeant Hugo Albornoz Albornoz and attempted murder and wounding of two other members of the uniformed police.

The incident occurred the morning of April 2, 2012, when police personnel was complying with an order of entry, search and seizure of the Court of First Instance of Collipulli for frustrated homicide policeman on duty, in two homes located in the community Wente Winkul Mapu of Ercilla.

What really happened that day in the community:

Community Wente Winkul Mapu denies versions and CLARIFIES circumstances of the death of the GOPE officer
Apr 08, 2012
To the Mapuche communities in resistance and the national and
international public opinion, we express the following:
A. - The 2nd of April last, a huge operation of military police, once again, broke into our community in order to raid houses of commoners. This raid was led by the prosecutor antimapuche Luis Chamorro accompanied by armored cars of GOPE and FFEE police in a number of over 100 armed troops to the war.
2. - They proceeded to raid two houses of the Community, in one of them and in front of the homeowner, who is head of the household with three children, they proceeded to seize an old pair of spurs, an agenda and they took pictures a poster alluding to the Mapuche cause.
Con posterioridad Carabineros afirma haber encontrado una escopeta hechiza, lo cual es absolutamente falso y se demostrará en su oportunidad. En la segunda casa y también frente a la dueña de casa, no se encontró nada, y después aparece un cartucho de escopeta calibre 12, de común uso en el campo.
The two lamgen were arrested and taken in the caravan, led by Chamorro towards Collipulli. From the above there are multiple witnesses, including the Jesuit Luis Garcia Huidobro, who witnessed the whole operation in the houses raided. The caravan headed by Chamorro and the detained lamgen is withdrawn in complete normality and went their way toward Collipulli.
3. - After the withdrawing of part of the police convoy and in a different place from the raids, a contingent of more than 60 policemen burst into another section of the community, in different directions, firing indiscriminately against the houses.
This sector has been attacked on numerous occasions and was protected by order of the Court of Appeals of Temuco, to avoid precisely the illegal and arbitrary actions of the police force.
In this situation it is that the sergeant Albornoz was shot, in the backyard of a lamgen, a couple of meters from their window, away from any public road or neighborhood, within the Community, in a place were there are only women and children, as recorded by the press who came to the place.
4. - We categorically deny the irresponsible statements of the prosecution and the police daily changing versions of the facts. First they talked about an ambush on a public road, which has become increasingly clear as totally false.
There was talk of a 9mm bullet, and it proved to be a 38 caliber bullet, police official use. It was stated that police had seen a hooded man with a handgun, now they are talking about a long-range rifle and sniper.
5. - To address these obvious attempts to prepare a setup that emphasizes the repression of the Community, we are most interested in clarifying the truth of what happened and give every facility to a serious and unprejudiced investigation.

In this regard, we call the authorities and to whom it may concern
to withdraw from the research management the anti-Mapuche prosecutor Luis Chamorro, because he is a recognized figure for effecting setups against the Mapuche, from the days of the trial Poluco-Pidenco, which is why they put the forestry companies back in Collipulli. Already there has been made contact with officials of the PDI to perform the expert testimony and take the appropriate statements.
Unfortunately, the place where the incident occurred was cleared by police before it was investigated by Labocar members. However, we believe that an impartial and professional investigation can get to clarify the facts, which will not happen if Chamorro continues in charge.
6. - The regrettable death of Sergeant Albornoz, probably caused by a police bullet, is the consequence of the military occupation of our territory, the continuing massive raids and uncontrolled police violence, a force acting as a private guard for forestry companies and landowners, to the neglect and silence of the politicians who have done nothing to resolve the causes of conflict.
We know what it means to have death by murder go unpunished, of our brothers Alex Lemún, Matías Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio, we also know of the growing number of wounded, tortured and imprisoned that these repressive actions of the state have left in our communities and we are the most interested in seeing this war against our people over.
Neither the state repression, much less the military occupation of the Territory will make us abandon our struggle!!

Community Wente Winkul Mapu Lof Chequenco
April 07, 2012
Contact: Werken Daniel Melinao 81673681


Other testimony: 

Instead of talking about Mapuche territorial restitution, let us speak of the dead

10 april 2012 om 5:24
Instead of talking about Mapuche territorial restitution, let us speak of the dead, the wounded, the imprisoned ...
A few days ago, in a confusing incident after a raid on a Mapuche community in Malleco, Hugo Albornoz, Sergeant 2 of the Police Special Operations Group (GOPE) of the Police was fatally shot.

It is difficult to determine the number of deaths as a result of state repression in Chile to the Mapuche movement, since the return of democracy.

To the official number of 3 young Mapuche killed by police, are added a dozen testimonies from all over the Mapuche territory of violent deaths in circumstances related to the conflict: the family Huenupe Pavian in Cauñicu, the leader Jorge Suarez in Malla-Malla, Julio Wentekura in the Santiago penitentiary, Xenon Diaz Malleco, Juan Collihuin in Nueva Imperial and others, whose families say that if it were not for the state's refusal to return land, their loved ones would still be alive.

The death of Hugo Albornoz is a landmark in this conflict, because he is the first fallen that militates in the police force of the State of Chile. So far all the dead were Mapuche. Mapuche were also all the prisoners.

And it is so that the police in Chile, despite such irregularity as have been manifested in the area, is not ultimately responsible for the violence in Mapuche territory. It is true that police abuses are many, but those responsible for the violence are ultimately the representatives of the executive branch who, instead of opening a systematic and planned return of the territory, have opted for judicial and police repression of the Mapuche movement.

Why the refusal to return the territory? I think the reason is none other but that the vast majority of acres are now usurped by two of the most powerful economic groups in Chile: the Angelini Group, owner of Forestry Arauco, and the Matte Group, owner of Forestry Mininco.

The collusion between the industry and political power is an assumption, since there is no law of transparency in financing political parties. Can you have even one parliamentarian who can say that his campaign was not funded by any of these two economic groups?

Before the indifference of the political class, the prosecutors become stakeholders, who are under pressure to produce results to justify their long investigations. And so, in order to reach very few convictions, they have had to go through completely irregular procedures, with the evil arts that we have seen in recent years: indictments taken under torture, disproportionate and irrational police procedures, crude setups, with protected witnesses obtained suspensions based on irregular money.

Today we see an unacceptable situation, the prosecutor Luis Chamorro, who was in charge of the operation where the policeman, is mandated to investigate the death that was a result of that action.

An example may serve to illustrate the situation. The day after the death of the police officer Albornoz in the Victorian court began the preparation of the trial for a cause from October 2009. This is about a burning truck and assault on a toll post on a road, for which 10 Mapuche of Malleco are taken for 2 ½ years under the Counter-Terrorism Act, including 2 young men who were then minors.
The Mapuche spent more than a year in custody, staged a hunger strike for almost 3 months, only to be under house arrest for another year, i.e., unable to bring money home.

All this, until just over a week, in the preparation for trial, the judge asks the prosecutor Velasquez to reformulate the charge he was making. The accusation was based on a "subversive context" that included acts since 2004. With that, the prosecutor claimed that the 10 defendants were not only judged by a particular event of which he claims to have evidence in order to accuse them, but that they also were to be judged as dangerous terrorists who threaten social peace, so that the procedures become much less transparent.

And, after 2 ½ years of research, apparently the "evidence" is simply not enough. For much of the process, the prosecutor claimed a key recording ... that later he himself dismissed.

And so, he apparently has only the testimony of a protected "eyewitnesses" claiming to have participated in the act who is not of Malleco, who has a previous a criminal history, who has announced that he is receiving a salary of the prosecution and that he was at a shortened trial
to be convicted by the Terrorism Act for these acts in question... and paying for the sentence in freedom. The man also claims to have participated in other events where other accused are charged, from communities quite distant to them. That is, it is a real wild card of the prosecutors.

In between, we had statements from the prosecution, Senator Alberto Espina and Sebastián Piñera himself (being a candidate), that these Mapuche and others were being trained with the FARC, which was later dismissed by police.

The day after the death of the police officer, coincided with the new preparation of the trial for the Quino Toll case, the prosecutor Velasquez should rephrase his accusation. But the prosecutor Velasquez did not, showing defiance against the judge and the court he was withdrawn, leaving only as the complaining party the lawyers of the Ministry of Interior,
who in the rest of the hearing gave samples only their ignorance regarding the investigation.

And fact is that probably the prosecutor will take advantage of the current context, and with the death of the police officer, will seek to appeal to the Supreme Court, maybe demanding the dismissal of the judge? The outcome of this case we will see in the coming months.

Meanwhile, in the community Wente Winkul Mapu, where the policeman died, spreads the fear. Already there are four community members of that community who are in prison, two of them imprisoned in another similar raid in November, when they were introduced to security court, totally beaten up by police.

One could go on incredible facts relating to a citizen who believes that institutions in Chile are working normally. It would be never ending.

Unfortunately, due to the political incapacity of the governments, instead of talking about land restitution processes, we are speaking of the dead, the wounded, the imprisoned, the tortured, the bribed, etc.

Published by Luis García-Huidobro

And one more:

"Readily an accident could have been generated between them" Testimonials Wente Winkul Mapu

14 april 2012 om 2:55
"Readily an accident could have been generated between them" Testimonials Wente Winkul Mapu
Friday, April 13, 2012
After the events last April 2 in the community Wente Winkul Mapu of Ercilla, where there died a Sergeant of Police, Hugo Albornoz, people in the community give their testimony and associated themselves with the hypothesis that it was an unfortunate accident between police officers themselves The history of territorial dispossession and poverty today are part of the reason for the community to reclaim 2,500 hectares of ancestral property, land currently in the hands of the individual Juan de Dios Fuentes, Forestry Cautín and Forestry Mininco, demanding from the Chilean state their restitution.
By Elías Paillan / Foto: Pedro Mariman / Observatorio Ciudadano

After the events on April 2 in the context of the raids on the Mapuche community Wente Winkul Mapu in the town of Ercilla, where was killed the policeman of the Group Special Operations Forces (GOPE), Hugo Albornoz, the Citizens' Observatory accompanied by journalists, attended the community to gather relevant information from the eyewitness view of the affected. Finding the very different versions given by the prosecutor, Luis Chamorro,
and the uniformed institution itself. Therefore, they are expecting a thorough investigation and that the expert reports produce results about what really happened.

Stories and testimonies which also allow to notice the extreme violence that the police acted with during the operation, and other alleged abuses.

Fiscal and police lie

Miriam Gallardo, homeowner, was with her daughter of 3 years old at the time of the raids, when she noticed police groups coming from different points, shooting. "Some shot here, others shooting there and another group there, shooting too, were hidden behind my ranch, then the shootout began." When asked if they entered her home, she said yes. "They said they were looking for a camera that I was had seen with, that I was recording everything. But I did not record anything because I have no camera. They took my cell phone, they searched everything, they messed the whole house and did not give me any paper of a search warrant, "she said. "Here there were about a hundred cops, including there were reporters walking about who filmed," she recalls, then adds that during the first raid of the police the prosecutor was not present, but he was in the second, who she remembers "was so rude."

When asked about the dead policeman, pointing she replied that "they say he fell in this part of my house," but explained she could not see anything since because of the shooting she had hidden in her home. "When I left, I saw the policeman who was lying there, I saw him when he was down there, but I do not know what else happened," she recalled. Asked if the shooting was before or after the raid, she replies that it was prior to it and according to the police that was why they came to look for the camera.
Gallardo further claims that they have disrupted the site of the incident. "They picked up all their bullets, they were filled with such matters, and the prosecutor was also walking around looking. They would be about two hours here, because they came first and left, then returned and the third time they returned with the prosecutor "who was asked to display the search warrant and he refused. That is why she emphatically stated that "what they are saying, the prosecutor and the police (who say they were ambushed on a road) is all false, they came to make the attack only here, and left. From here on up, there was no attack, "she said.

Finally, she says not yet to understand "why they were looking for a camera when they recorded everything they did, I saw a policeman who was recording" and claims that in the operation they used tear gas, which "is forbidden, she points out referring to a judgment of the Court of Appeals of Temuco.

A police placed tubes under a sofa
The werken Daniel Melinao accuses that on that day the police came to the community exercising a lot of violence, using weapons, tear gas and destroying everything in their path. "It clearly reflects the anti-Mapuche attitude of the prosecutor Chamorro," he says, because "of our brothers they threw away raw flour. Of a lamgen (sister), for example, living alone, they threw it in the courtyard of her house, she also had cereals, and they threw away everything, " he points out, condemning the actions of police within the communities. He further claims that a policeman placed irons tubes under a chair, apparently a weapon , and that "we have the testimony a child who witnessed it and how the policeman left the weapon," clarifying that he can give no further information because it will be part of the background investigation.
Regarding the words of Juan de Dios Fuentes who told the newspaper La Tercera that he would have seen lasers at night, he says that "he (Fuentes) has been a long time trying to get us involved , he has even given himself the luxury of saying that he knows the people who shot at the police, which is not so. For years they have wanted to involve the community in acts of violence, but it is not so," he said.

Currently there are three community members in custody, including Rodrigo Montoya Melinao, as a result of the fact that there was found a hood which was given to him by the forest brigade where he worked. The heads of the company are willing to go to recognize the hood, which, ensures us Melinao "had the label of the company, which they pulled off (the police)."

The werken regrets the death of the policeman and trust that the expert reports will clarify what it was that happened. But emphasizes that on that day there were 4 or 5 groups of troops and they shot at close range, so "easily an accident could have been generated between them," he said.

“400 thousand pesos were taken away by them

Venancio Montoya Cheuque (78 years, 10 children), a widower, lives alone and is one of the elders of a community made up mostly by young people. He tells that he was not at home when it was raided, because he was gathering rosehips while walking in his field of five acres. Outraged he charges that the police even spilled the milk that one of his daughters has for her children. "They broke my house," he laments, and "they took money, 400 thousand pesos were taken away by them, which was for paying INDAP," which he outlined were stored in the mattress of his bed and he had collected with great effort by selling rosehip at 300 pesos per kilo.
He questions the police procedure and the constant search for weapons in the community. "But here we don't have weapons. They have guns, they are the terrorists, "he stressed, adding that" he even knew that they hid (the police) irons in rags." What he does claim to have is newen (force) and a reason for his only fight, which is "to recover the lands taken away from us by the forestry’s and leaving us without water, fields for wheat or for breeding animals, as it was before" he said.

A policeman told me "I am the dog and command all these ch....."

Juana Montoya Cuminao (34 years), mother of 3 children, two of whom are minors. At the time of the raid, she was going out to work collecting corals. Closing the door, he found two policemen who aimed at her from her yard, who entered the house explaining that they were looking for a shotgun, but without displaying the search warrant she required them to exhibit. "They turned everything upside-down, even my wallet, my pads, my birth control pills, the part of my son. They took a spur and an agenda of my son. Remember that I asked for an explanation of the prosecutor who came after a while, wanting to know why they were taking things of her son, but he replied that he was arrested for an iron that they would have supposedly found in the part of her child. She states that while the police raided the interior, the prosecutor was in the yard, and only at the end "he entered to check and he saw the mess." Then they went to the house of her father, Venancio Montoya, from which they extracted money as told above.

When they were taking her away in a police vehicle, she saw from a window how the field of her neighbors was covered by different groups of police, who, shotgun in hand, "were leaping like hares." In the area of Pidima, she heard the prosecutor exclaim: "These cunts of their mothers injured a wueon!" They handcuffed her and then moved her to the police station of Collipulli, where she spent the night. The next day, at the detention control hearing, the prosecutor never mentioned the alleged gun seized in her house. Leaving her with domestic arrest, signing every 15 days and given a period of three-month investigation.

Current reality and land reclaimings

The community Wente Winkul Mapu was formed the year 2008 and was legalized in 2010 by 35 young families, all former members of the community "Joseph Millacheo Levio" of the same Chequenco sector in the town of Ercilla. Landless, and most living as associates on the lands of their fathers. "In my family we are six brothers. We are all here, living on a few meters of land where we can not even plant coriander," told Daniel Melinao last August, after visiting him as a result of another violent raid to the community in which the police left a large perforation in the his doorstep. "Few people can plant something here. Most of us live of doing small jobs here and there. I am a carpenter, I know masonry, I go to the people and work a few days, earning some money, and then return to lead the community and support my family." he said.

According to historical research "The reasons for llkun/anger" by Martin Correa and Eduardo Mella, the origins of the struggle of this community are in the early ninth century (1900), when the Chilean state gave to the ancient lands of the great Lonko Manuel Pillan, the land grant title of José Millacheo Levio, land grant title No. 1611, Chequenco, rural estate No. 381, of 338 acres. However, the families of Loloco, where part of the community is located, were not settled by way of land grants. However, until now they own the rural estate No. 376, of 715 acres, which was expropriated in 1961 to the Chiguaihue estate, and divided in 1984 in 37 rural estates, according to the aforementioned book.
This explains the current mobilization and why you get to this situation of scarcity of land. According to Martin Correa, "the disputed lands are part of the old territory of the Chequenco families, and which at the moment of filing, to reduce the Mapuche families territorially, the Chilean government did not recognize the domain, awarding them to the family Mackay, who shaped the large estate Chiguaihue then in the 1890s. The Mapuche families hold up to today that they never sold their lands, that they were usurped, and they are in the right. The Chilean state at filing them did not acknowledged its incumbency, it recognized a few tiny amounts of territory and far removed from reality, hence they are called reductions, their lands were declared vacant, surplus, fiscal and large pieces of land were awarded to families of settlers, from which they derive the titles of the current owners and the surrounding forest enterprises. At the origin of the property is fraud, theft, plunder, nonetheless the current owners present their domain as a legal and lawful" he says.

He states that there are 2,500 hectares which make up the ancestral territory of the Mapuche and that are now in the hands of the forestry's Arauco, Mininco and Cautín, in addition to the landowner settler Juan de Dios Fuentes. The same is endorsed by the werken Daniel Melinao, explaining that they claimed 2,500 hectares, coming in part from the land grant title José Millacheo Levio, as well as ancestral territory, according to the testimony of "Kimche" "Che che ke" (wise elders.) It is argued also that it is ancestral property by the existence of a cemetery, now in an area planted with eucalyptus forest.

According to Correa "these spaces are part of the memory of Mapuche lands, they are not forgotten, and this has not been made by the Chilean state. Mapuche lands are not only those recognized in the land grant titles, which, in itself is an act of an usurper, reductionist, but also those that the Chilean state, just 120 years ago, the recent past for a people with memory, were subtracted from their domains to install foreign settlers. From this is born the legitimacy of Mapuche peoples demands, which, is opposed to the legality of the Chilean papers. "

Observatory questions official information
According to program coordinator of the Observatory of Indigenous Rights Watch, Pedro Mariman, "the impression left after hearing the testimonies of the people of Wente Winkul Mapu, is that the Police version regarding the circumstances and the place where there was wounded a Sergeant, Albornoz, is at least questionable. What seems clear is that the party of the police was not the subject of an ambush that had been made upon completion of the operation, and on a public road outside the community, as it was reported initially. Instead, the incident would have occurred during development of the operation and at one point of the community, where many homes are located" he states.
Likewise, it forms part of the concern of the community over the course of the investigation. "After nominating Chamorro the prosecutor in charge of it, it is worthy of attention, to the extent that the prosecutor may lack the impartiality necessary because he had direct involvement in the operation, in which process was fatally wounded Sergeant Albornoz," he concluded.


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