Yesterday, Georgy Schubert Studer, Chile’s Defensor Nacional (the head public defender in the country) released a number of statistics related to Chilean criminal justice in 2012 and discussed some concerns he had with them. Specifically, Studer highlighted two statistics related to Indigenous peoples living in Chile:
- First, he mentioned that Indigenous peoples — along with foreigners and migrants — were disproportionately held in pre-trial detention (which can occur at several different points prior to trial). Approximately 7% of all cases of pre-trial detention involved Indigenous individuals.
- Second, Studer indicated that although only 1.5% of arrests result in a finding of an illegal arrest, nearly one-quarter (23.7%) of those illegal arrests involve Indigenous individuals.
After mentioning these statistics, Studer indicated stated, “It is important that we reflect [on these numbers] as a society, because these indicators reflect the way we treat certain groups.” He then went on to call for additional procedural checks to be put in place to help counteract some of the system’s current shortcomings.