Tag Archives: Court Decision

Barrick Gold Asks Chilean Court to Reconsider Mine Stoppage from Diaguita Communities’ Lawsuit

According to Radio Universidad de Chile, one week after the Chilean appellate court in Copiapó sided with several Diaguita communities and granted an injunction to halt all action at the Pascua Lama mine (owned by Barrick Gold), the mining company filed a motion to ask the court to reconsider its injunction. The court will decide whether to accept or deny the request to reconsider in the next few days. The Diaguita communities’ lawyer, Alex Quevedo, said Barrick Gold’s request was an unusually rare maneuver and “lacked substance”. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Diaguita | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lawsuit by Diaguita Community Shuts Down Barrick Gold’s Mine in Chile

On Wednesday, April 10th, the Court of Appeals in Copiapó unanimously ordered all work at the Pascua Lama mine halted until further notice. The order was a result of a lawsuit brought by the Diaguita communities of the Huasco Valley in northern Chile and alleged that the mine’s work was violating multiple environmental regulations including regulations that protect three glaciers in the area from environmental harm and contamination. The decision marks the second time in the past 12 months that a Chilean court has halted a mine based on a lawsuit brought by Indigenous communities. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Diaguita | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Chilean Court Rejects Indigenous Claims to Consultation on Geothermal Projects

Last Friday, November 16th, the Court of Appeals in Santiago struck a blow to indigenous rights when it issued its ruling in three cases brought by indigenous communities and organizations to halt a number of geothermal exploration concessions that were granted without prior consultation. In each instance, the Santiago Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Energy Ministry, which was responsible for granting the concessions earlier this year. Continue reading

Posted in Atacameño, Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Supreme Court Reverses Two Mapuche Convictions; Hunger Strike Ends After 60 Days

On Wednesday, October 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court unanimously overturned the convictions of two Mapuche men who had been charged with the attempted murder of Chilean police officers. The convictions were overturned on the grounds that evidence was lacking at the lower court level to prove attempted murder. Although the two men were not completely absolved of all crimes, the ruling was well-received and, on Thursday, the men called an end to their hunger strike that had been in progress for 60 days. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mapuche Hunger Strikers Reach Day 40; Attorneys Argue in Front of Supreme Court

On Thursday, October 4th, attorneys for four Mapuche prisoners who were sentenced for a variety of alleged crimes, including attempted murder of police officers, went before the criminal chamber of the Chilean Supreme Court. The attorneys argued for a mistrial and dismissal of the convictions based on a lack of evidence. Additionally, arguments were made to apply the American Convention on Civil Rights and the International Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous Peoples to the prisoners’ prison conditions, which could allow them additional prison privileges. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision with respect to these issues on October 24, 2012. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mapuche Family Occupying Ancestral Land Loses in Chilean Supreme Court

On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Chilean Supreme Court released a decision ordering a Mapuche family in Tirúa to vacate the lands they had been occupying in protest or else the police force would be used to remove them. The lands in question were in the zone of Puerto Choque and are owned by a farmer, José Salazar Romero, who brought the lawsuit to stop the occupation on his land. The Chilean Supreme Court unanimously granted Salazar’s request. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Santiago Court Rejects Atacameño Communities’ Claim Against Tourism Concessions in Protected Areas

On Tuesday, September 25th, the Santiago Court of Appeals rejected a claim by the Council of the Atacameño People that sought to have indigenous peoples consulted on a new regulation that opens up state-protected areas to tourism. The Court’s decision was unanimous and stated that the regulation — as written — has caused no harm nor affected indigenous peoples to an extent that it requires consultation. On a positive note, the Court did explicitly say, however, that any concessions that affected indigenous communities were to be held to the strict standards of consultation laid out in ILO Convention 169. Continue reading

Posted in Atacameño, Chile | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chilean Supreme Court Rejects Mapuche Claim to Access a Sacred Site

On Monday, September 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court — in a unanimous decision — rejected the claim of a group of Huilliche people (a sub-group of the Mapuche people) who were trying to gain access to a sacred site. The Supreme Court stated that the land in question was owned by a private individual and, as such, could not be granted the special protection sought by the Huilliche people. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Military Court Reverses Conviction of Police Officer Who Killed a Mapuche Man

On August 12, 2009 a 24-year-old Mapuche man named Jaime Mendoza Collío was shot and killed by Miguel Patricio Jara Muñoz, a Chilean police officer (carabinero). The shooting occurred in the context of a land dispute over traditional Mapuche territory. Within a week, the officer was charged with using unnecessary force that resulted in death, and has defended himself by arguing that the force was justifiable given the circumstances. The courts repeatedly rejected Jara’s claims of self-defense and, after many appeals, Jara was sentenced to five years and one day in prison in November of 2011. On Saturday, August 18th, the Chilean military court system, announced that it was abandoning the earlier conviction on the grounds that Jara’s actions were done in self-defense. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Rapa Nui Land Case Loses at Chile’s Supreme Court

The Chilean Supreme Court unanimously rejected arguments made by the Hito clan of the Rapa Nui people in a case about lands on Easter Island. The Hito clan has been trying for years to regain control over a parcel of land that was traditionally in their possession, but that currently is the site for the Hotel Hanga Roa — a luxury hotel on the Island. The Supreme Court’s rejection included statements that, in 1888, all inhabitants on Easter Island became illegal squatters; that the land in question was legally transferred from ancestors of the Hito clan to non-indigenous people; and that the land in question no longer qualifies as “indigenous land” within the meaning of the law, thus special protections are unnecessary. A spokesperson for the Hito clan has indicated that they will continue to fight for their land rights in the political arena. The option of approaching international tribunals also remains open. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Rapa Nui | Tagged , | 1 Comment