Chile, Mapuche on Hunger Strike Demand Justice

Posted on April 22, 2011 • Filed under: Chile, Human Rights Latin America, Latin America Indigenous Issues

In a letter sent from prison, Mapuche leader Héctor Llaitul criticized the political backing of the verdict against him and three other community members. The Mapuche imprisoned in Angol have been on hunger strike since 15 March.
The leader of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) held that the trial of Cañete is part of the Chilean plan to criminalize the Mapuche cause.
He said the strategy is intended to benefit local and transnational business.
He suggested that the Chilean State intends to reduce the Mapuche struggle to alleged criminal and terrorist acts. He added that it seeks to “prosecute and punish indiscriminately the resistance of peoples against predatory capitalism”.

Llaitul stated that because of this, the Patriot Act can be applied to him – against which the defendant is left entirely unprotected. He said the intended application of the rule has, as a concrete objective, to look for convictions.

He reiterated that this is what they are looking for with the use of faceless witnesses, double civil and military prosecution and cover-ups linked to political-police assemblies supported by “antimapuche prosecutors”.

Finally, said he and his ethnic brothers suffered political persecution and political condemnation by a court under business interest pressure.

Defense attorney, Paula Vial, rejected the process being used on the Mapuche.

Vial said that there is no evidence of the villagers’ participation in the crimes they are accused of and criticized the judicial process for being against them.

Héctor Llaitul, Ramón Llanquileo, José Huenuche and Jonathan Huillical were sentenced to 25 to 20 years in prison for the case that investigated the attack on prosecutor Mario Elgueta.(PÚLSAR) Read Article –

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