Tag Archives: Prison

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

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Mapuche Man Commits Suicide in Prison

On Saturday, March 3rd, a Mapuche man who was in a Temuco prison was found dead in his cell. The next day it was announced that the man had committed suicide by hanging himself with some cloth he had. The man’s name was Lorenzo Llevul Antimil, and he was 40-years-old. Llevul had yet to stand trial, but was imprisoned on January 22nd in relation to fires that occurred in the comuna of Chol-Chol (approximately 30 kilometers northwest of Temuco). Continue reading

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Mapuche Prisoners File Claim Against Chile with the OAS

On Wednesday, November 30th, a complaint was filed against the Chilean government with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights — a structure of the Organization of American States (OAS). The petition was brought by four Mapuche prisoners who have alleged human rights violations in the way they their trial was handled, and seeks to have the international body inform Chile that the country’s Antiterrorism Law needs to be reformed to adhere to human rights law. The Commission is expected to rule on the admissibility of the petition and whether they will take the case sometime this week. Continue reading

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Chilean Deputies Ask President to Pardon Aymara Woman on Cultural Grounds

On Friday, October 14th, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies (equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives) voted to ask President Piñera to pardon Gabriela Blas, an Aymara woman who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the accidental death of her son. The draft agreement was brought to the floor by Deputy Orlando Vargas (PPD) and received 54 votes in favor as well as one abstention. The agreement not only requested a pardon, but provided legal arguments to support such a decision. Continue reading

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Deputies Ask Piñera to Pardon Aymara Woman Citing ILO Convention 169

Last week (August 2nd) marked the fourth anniversary of the day that Gabriel Blas, a 28-year-old Aymara woman, was arrested for losing her 3-year-old son. Blas was ultimately convicted and sentenced to twelve years in prison when her son wandered out of her house and was killed. The case has received some amount of attention both within Chile and internationally as many commentators have noticed the harshness of the penalty and the court’s inability or unwillingness to take into account Aymara cultural practices when rendering its judgement. In response to this case, last week Deputy Orlando Vargas (PPD) and Deputy Adriana Muñoz (PPD) called for the President to pardon Blas. Continue reading

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Mapuche Prisoners Sent to Different Hospitals; Unnecessary Force Alleged

On Wednesday, June 8th, the Chilean Government separated the four Mapuche prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for 86 days, and sent them to separate hospitals. Natividad Llanquileo, the spokesperson for the prisoners, alleged that the relocations were “violent” and that at least one of the prisoners was “beaten, handcuffed, and sedated.” Meanwhile, the latest medical reports show that the Mapuche individuals’ health continues to deteriorate and that some irreversible damage to their bodies has already occurred. Continue reading

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To Support Mapuche Prisoners, Families Join Hunger Strike

On Sunday, June 5th, family members of the four Mapuche prisoners whose case was decided by the Supreme Court last Friday (June 3rd) announced that they would hold their own hunger strike to show their support for the prisoners as well as their dissatisfaction with the Court’s decision. According to Millaray Garrido, a spokesperson for the community members, the hunger strike will begin today, June 6th, and will be located in an encampment set-up outside Victoria Hospital. The families called on others to show their support and for the Chilean Government to take steps to find a solution to the problem. Continue reading

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After 70 Days on Hunger Strike, Mapuche Prisoner Hospitalized

On Tuesday afternoon, May 24th, after 70 days of hunger striking, Ramón Llanquileo was hospitalized due to complications from his fasting. Llanquileo was taken to a hospital in Los Ángeles for observation and treatment. He had briefly been taken to the hospital last week for heart problems, but was relatively quickly returned to the prison. According to Natividad Llanquileo, who speaks for the prisoners, Llanquileo and the other three strikes are in stable condition although they continue to weaken. Continue reading

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Mapuche Continue Hunger Strike; One Hospitalized

On Thursday, May 19th, one of the four Mapuche prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for 66 days was hospitalized. Specifically, Ramón Llanquileo was taken to the hospital in Angol due to several health problems — most notably related to his heart rate. According to one report, Llanquileo was not actually treated at the hospital due to some procedural problems, but was instead returned to the prison. Llanquileo is one of four Mapuche prisoners who have been striking to protest alleged due process violations that occurred in a trial in which all four were convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. Continue reading

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Appellate Court Rules that Mapuches on Hunger Strike can be Force Fed

On Wednesday, May 4th, the Appellate Court in Temuco upheld an order of protection that would allow four Mapuche prisoners who are currently on a hunger strike to receive medical care and be force fed in the event of an emergency. The application was made by the prison in Angol where the prisoners are being held. Thus far the four Mapuche have neither been force fed, nor taken to the hospital. Continue reading

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