Three Mapuche youth convicted in death of farmer

The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto], December 5, 2013

Family members react to conviction of Mapuche youth in court, Dec 5, 2013.

Family members react to conviction of Mapuche youth in court, Dec 5, 2013.

The three young Mapuche Political Prisoners belonging to the Lof Chekenko Community were convicted this Thursday in the town of Angol for the murder of farmer Hector Gallardo. The injustice and racism of the Chilean courts can be seen once again within the framework of the current Presidential elections, in which the entire political class washes their hands of any responsibility.

Luis Marileo, Leonardo Quijon, and Gabriel Valenzuela, who risk 25, 30 and 10 year prison sentences respectively, were found guilty of armed robbery causing death in the events that took place on September 1st, 2012 inside Parcel 22, in the area of San Ramon.

In hearing the verdict, the family members irrupted in a flood of tears and began confronting prison guard personnel surrounding the room, where the farmer’s family was also present.

The Mapuche protest was then moved outside of the courthouse, where riot police arrived in large numbers. Many windows at the Courthouse were broken and an unknown number of Mapuche community members were also arrested.

The convicted belonged to the Wente Winkul Mapu and Jose Guiñon Communities and have been persecuted since they were minors.

One of several arrests by Caribineri military pig police outside court, Dec 5, 2013.

One of several arrests by Caribineri military pig police outside court, Dec 5, 2013.

This conviction marks a precedent in future trials against Mapuche community members charged by the Chilean State. There are various emblematic trials set to be dealt with by the courts between now and March, including the trial against Machi [Medicine healer] Celestino cordova and Werken [Spokesperson] Daniel Melinao, when the newly elected Chilean President is set to take power. It is quite likely that they will be convicted, since no one is willing to take responsibility for these convictions during the electoral period. These trials and convictions clearly correlate to the political persecution suffered by the communities that maintain dignified processes of resistance and reconstruction of Wallmapu.

País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

http://wccctoronto.wordpress.com

http://wccctoronto.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/political-conviction-against-mapuche-youth-of-chekenko/

More Background Info:

The repression of the battle of the Mapuche

Judicial framing and arrest of Leonardo Quijon

“The every day life of the Mapuche is characterised by insecurity and terror: terror because of the violent raids by the military on the local people, terror because of the paramilitary units and their fanaticism, (like the members of the extreme right wing group “Hernan Trizano“ who have heavy weapons and even bazookas – and who are openly threatening the Mapuche people, but they have never been arrested not even for the crime of “terrorist threat“), terror because of the ridiculous trials and the endless detention for political prisoners that are painfully striking down dozens of families that cannot meet the legal costs of the trials.” David Monticelli

A person with disabilities accused of murder
Leonardo Quijón, a nineteen year old lad with leg injuries inflicted by the Carabineros police two years ago when he was going hunting for rabbits. He lost half his calf muscle and still has about 200 lead pellets in his leg, poisoning his blood and causing great pain. At that time he was accused of attempted murder, theft and intimidation, illegally carrying a weapon and of having set fire to two trucks. Later he was found not guilty on every charge. Even this Blog took an interest in his case in June 2012, and published his testimony. Some international human rights organisations tried to get him out of the country so that he could get medical help that is not available in Chile, but they haven’t had time. In fact, on Monday 3 September 2012 Leonardo and another lad of the same age Luis Marileo, as well as a 17 year old lad, were all arrested and accused of the murder of a 45 year old farmer, Hector Gallardo Aillapàn, who was killed on Saturday 1 September. It seems difficult to explain how a disabled lad together with 2 other lads living in different Mapuche communities, quite far apart, could have been able to organise this murder, but above all, what is still difficult to explain is how the relatives of the victim managed to recognise those particular three lads out of the eight hooded people that are said to have carried out the crime. This “official version“ leaves a troubling question about who could have really assassinated the farmer, (who was a candidate for the position of councillor in the municipality of Ercilla) and above all, why he was murdered.
The images of the journalists crowding round Leonardo while he’s taken away by the PDI {investigation police} and all the implicitly denigrating rhetoric of the TV reports (that really puts you in mind of the reports here in Italy about the No-Tav campaigns in Val di Susa) are truly disgusting and are such a contrast with the calm image of Leonardo resting against a wall, when he was interviewed by the Blog, calmly telling his story, and every so often sorting out his rebellious fringe just as any teenager would do. That same confidence and clear-thinking is what Leonardo demonstrated when he was arrested and in response to the journalist’s question about why he handed himself over to the police he calmly said: “Because I’m innocent“.

The terrorism that you’re not expecting
The every day life of the Mapuche is characterised by insecurity and terror: terror because of the violent raids by the military on the local people, terror because of the paramilitary units and their fanaticism, (like the members of the extreme right wing group “Hernan Trizano“ who have heavy weapons and even bazookas – and who are openly threatening the Mapuche people, but they have never been arrested not even for the crime of “terrorist threat“), terror because of the ridiculous trials and the endless detention of political prisoners that are painfully striking down dozens of families that cannot meet the legal costs of the trials.

And yet the Mapuche don’t let themselves get beaten down by distress, by passivity, or by defeatism, but they are tackling this situation with their heads held high and they are not giving up the need to fight this battle.” David Monticelli

http://www.beppegrillo.it/en/2012/10/_the_repression_of_the_battle.html

Posted on December 5, 2013, in Warrior and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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