Chilean Mapuches Outraged at Supreme Court Ruling

Santiago de Chile,  (Prensa Latina) There is no justice for the indigenous Mapuche people in Chile, said spokesman Pamela Pessoa in harshly critizing a Supreme Court sentence handed down to four Mapuche leaders.

The Supreme Court ignored calls to overturn a controversial trial and gave eight-year prison sentences to Jose Hueneche, Ramon Llanquileo and Jonathan Hullical, and 14 years to Hector Llaitul.

Pessoa, wife of Hector Llaitul, called the verdict a severe blow to Chile’s social movement, and said the men, who are on a hunger strike, would go all the way to raise their demands for a fair trail.

The Mapuche supporters absolutely reject the ruling, which stemmed from a case using secret witnesses and an anti-terror law that was passed during the Augusto Pinochet military regime of 1973-1990, historically used to silence social protests.

Rather than observing the Constitution, the Court engaged in secret arrangements with the government and business people, she said.

Charging the Mapuches with attempted homicide in the 2008 attack against Prosecutor Mario Elgueta confirms the scam, she said. He walked away unharmed and there is doubt there was ever a crime scene, she added.

Pessoa said Llaitul and the other three Mapuche leaders reject the sentence reduction and the trial that legitimizes such trials and the anti-terror Law.

Mapuche Natividad Llanquileo blamed the government as wholly responsible in the fatal end of the hunger strike, the second hunger strike by the men of more than 80-days in less than 12 months.

It is a condemnation of the entire Mapuche people and the supporters of the four leaders will recur to international courts to demand justice, Pessoa said•


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