As reported yesterday, October 27th, in El Mercurio, Raúl Castro Antipán was convicted of arson, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts by a court in Araucanía. These charges marked the first time the Antiterrorism Law has been applied to a Mapuche since the Chilean government modified the law several weeks ago.
That agreement, reached after Mapuche prisoners participated in a hunger strike for more than 80 days, resulted in alterations to the Antiterrorism Law. For instance, the reformed law requires the prosecution to prove — beyond a reasonable doubt — that an act did, in fact, have a terrorist intent for the law to apply. The agreement also changed the law so as to prevent its application against juveniles, and it resulted in the government transferring all of the hunger strikers from military court to civilian court.
In this case, spokespersons for the prisoners in Temuco and Concepción admitted that the Chilean government had kept their end of the deal, but they also lamented that the prosecutor decided to pursue terrorist charges in the case against Antipán.
Ultimately, Antipán was sentenced to a little over five years for his crimes. The charges originally carried a sentence of over thirty years, but Antipán decided to cooperate with prosecutors to reduce his sentence. Specifically, Antipán gave the identities of twelve other Mapuche who were allegedly involved in the same incidents that gave rise to his prosecution.
Statements from Antipán have assisted in charges being brought against the twelve Mapuche individuals he named, and have resulted in some additional controversy as the judge involved in these new cases is the same judge who heard the Antipán case. That judge has made statements indicating his belief that all twelve individuals were, in fact, involved, and should be considered terrorists. Thus, attorneys are arguing that a new judge needs to be brought in. The Court of Appeals is currently contemplating the matter.