Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Chile

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 22 March 2006
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Chile, 22 March 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747cb539.html [accessed 22 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Judicial proceedings and arbitrary detentions of several Mapuche leaders and activists35

Arrest of Messrs. José de la Rosa Nahuelpi Millapán and Lorenzo Manuel Nahuelpi Millapán

On 4 February 2005, Messrs. José de la Rosa Nahuelpi Millapán and Lorenzo Manuel Nahuelpi Millapán, brothers and Mapuche community leaders, were arrested and charged with causing a forest fire. They were released on parole and had to report to the Traiguén police station once a month. By the end of 2005, their trial was still pending.

Judicial harassment of the Pichún Collonao's family

– Judicial proceedings against Mr. Juan Pichún Collonao and Mr. Carlos Pichún Collonao

In 2005, Mr. Juan Pichún Collonao, leader of the Mapuche community in Traiguén, and his brother, Mr. Carlos Pichún Collonao, were summoned several times by judicial authorities in the framework of an investigation into their activities opened by the Traiguén Prosecutor's office, who was investigating several forest fires in the region.

On 5 February 2005, Messrs. Juan and Carlos Pichún Collonao were summoned to appear before the Prosecutor on 8 February 2005, suspected of having participated in setting these fires. However, even though the charges against Mr. Juan Pichun were dropped, the investigation concerning his brother was still open and the charges against him were still unknown by the end of 2005.

At the end of 2004, Mr. Juan Pichún had travelled to Europe to denounce the political persecution to which his community is subjected.

– Arbitrary detention of Mr. Rafael Pichún Collonao and proceedings against Mr. Pascual Pichún Collonao

On 20 July 2005, Mr. Rafael Pichún Collonao, brother of Messrs. Juan and Carlos Pichún Collonao, also accused of causing a fire in 2003 with their brother, Mr. Pascual Pichún Collonao, was detained for failing to pay a fine of seven million Chilean pesos (nearly 11,300 euros) that he was unable not pay, following his conviction in this case. By the end of 2005, he remained detained in a prison in the south of the country.

Furthermore, Mr. Pascual Pichún Collonao was still wanted by the police. On 6 December 2005, he officially requested a political refugee status with the Argentinean authorities.

In the course of 2005, the cases of Mr. Rafael Pichún Collonao and Pascual Pichún Collonao were presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), but by the end of 2005 it had produced no results.

– Detention of Mr. Pascual Huentequeo Pichun Paillalao

Mr. Pascual Huentequeo Pichún Paillalao, their father, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for "terrorist threat" in January 2004, was still detained in the Traiguén prison (region IX) by the end of 2005.

Annulment of the conviction and acquittal of several Mapuche leaders / Ongoing detention of some of them

On 6 April 2005, the Supreme Court of Chile repealed the verdict that had been rendered by the Temuco Criminal Court on 9 November 2004, acquitting 11 Mapuche leaders charged with "illegal terrorist association", including, among others, Mrs. Patricia Roxana Troncoso Robles and the Lonkos (traditional chiefs) Messrs. Pascual Huentequeo Pichún Paillalao and Segundo Aniceto Norín Catriman. Following their acquittal, the office of the Public Prosecutor of Region IX Araucanía, the Undersecretary of the Interior, Mr. Jorge Correa Sútil, acting as a special Prosecutor, the municipality of Temuco and the companies Agrícola Curaco S.A. and Forestal Mininco S.A., had appealed the decision with the Supreme Court, on the basis of an allegedly false evaluation of the witnesses presented by the plaintiffs.

The annulment of the decision resulting necessarily in a new ruling in the case, the Supreme Court, trying to influence the court, suggested that this new trial "should produce a completely different verdict".

The case of the Mapuche leaders was presented to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which was deciding on its admissibility at the end of 2005.

Furthermore, on 22 July 2005, the Temuco Criminal Court acquitted sixteen members of the Mapuche community, including Mr. Pascual Huentequeo Pichún Paillalao and Mr. Segundo Aniceto Norín Catriman, in the presence of a chargé de mission mandated by the Observatory. They were all charged with "illegal terrorist association" under Special Act 18.314 (anti-terrorist) and accused of "illegal membership in the Arauco Malleco Coordinating Committee" (Coordinadora Arauco Malleco – CAM), a violent group seeking land rights for the Mapuche community.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pascual Huentequeo Pichún Paillalao,36 Mr. Segundo Aniceto Norín Catriman, Mr. Jaime Marileo Saravia, Mr. Patricio Marileo Saravia, Mr. Juan Carlos Huenulao Lienmil, Mr. Victor Ancalaf Llaupe, and Mrs. Patricia Roxana Troncoso Robles were still detained under the anti-terrorist law as part of other judicial proceedings. Mr. Victor Ancalaf also remained in detention at the Manzano de Concepción Octava prison, in the Bio-bio region, where he was serving a five-year sentence. Mrs. Patricia Troncoso Robles, sentenced to 10 years and one day for terrorist arson of the Fundo Poluco Pidenco, was detained at the Angol prison.

Detention and sentencing of Mr. José Cariqueo Saravia

On 25 October 2005, Mr. José Cariqueo Saravia, a member of the José Guillón community, in San Ramón de Ercilla, lonko and spouse of the machi (leader) of this community, was arrested and taken to the Angol prison, charged with "terrorist arson" and belonging to CAM. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Attack and arbitrary detention of Mrs. Juana Calfunao Paillalef37

On 22 July 2005, the house of Mrs. Juana Calfunao Paillalef, leader of the indigenous Mapuche community "Juan Paillalef " in Cunco, was set on fire by unknown individuals for the third time since 1998.

These acts followed her trip to Europe between the end of June and 4 July 2005, during which she publicly denounced the political persecutions to which the Mapuche community is subjected in Chile.

In addition, on 21 December 2005, following another trip to Europe in October and November 2005, Temuco and Los Laureles special forces policemen went to the Juan Paillalef community in order to open a public road that had been blocked at Temuco by members of the community. The police used tear gas, then opened fire on the people that had gathered to protest, injuring several of them, including Mrs. Calfunao Paillalef.

On 23 December 2005, nearly 200 policemen, under orders of the captain of the "Padre Las Casas" prison, once again attacked the community, in particular with tear gas. They again destroyed Mrs. Calfunao Paillalef 's house, damaged the electrical and water generators and confiscated agricultural and communication equipment.

During this new attack, Mrs. Juana Calfunao Paillalef and her sister, Mrs. Luisa Ana Calfunao, were beaten in front of their children and other children from the community. They were then taken to the third police station of "Padre Las Casas", accused of "public disorder" and "threats against security forces".

Mrs. Calfunao Paillalef and Mrs. Luisa Ana Calfunao were released on 24 December 2005, by order of the Temuco Court of Guarantees (Corte de garantias) that ruled the arrest of the two women illegal.

On 4 January 2006, Mrs. Juana Calfunao Paillalef was nevertheless detained on the order of the Temuco Criminal Court, for the above-mentioned charges. Considered as a "danger to society" by the court, she remained detained at the Temuco women's prison awaiting her trial, scheduled for 13 February 2006.

Judicial proceedings against Mrs. Myriam Reyes García38

On 13 November 2005, the Court of Temuco, Cautín province, officially opened an investigation on Mrs. Myriam Reyes García, a lawyer and public defence attorney, for "breach of her confidentiality obligation". This investigation was launched following the publication on 18 August 2004 of a Prosecutor's office document, in the El Gong online newspaper of Temuco. That document listed the amounts paid by that office to witnesses in the trial of Mapuche leaders charged with setting fire to the property of the logging company Mininco S.A (this document shows that nearly 20 millions pesos – more than 32,200 euros – were paid to ten or so witnesses).39 These payments, according to the Prosecutor's office, were meant to protect the witnesses, even though they were not facing any danger.

Mrs. Myriam Reyes García was accused of transmitting to the press this confidential document, which was found in one of the Prosecutor's offices three months after its publication. The two lawyers working with Mrs. Reyes García were not charged, which suggests that Mrs. Reyes García was targeted because of her role as a defence lawyer of Mapuche leaders accused of terrorism, and, more generally, for her support for the rights of this community.

On 23 December 2005, the Temuco Court of Appeal suspended the prohibition placed on Mrs. Reyes García to leave the country, as well as the requirement to report to the Court of Temuco every month, based on lack of evidence brought by the Prosecutor. However, the proceedings against her were still pending by the end of 2005.

Acts of harassment against Mrs. July Palomino, Mr. Diego Carrasco and Mr. Cesar Mamani40

Several defenders involved in the extradition request for the former President of Peru, Mr. Alberto Fujimori, arrested in Chile on 7 November 2005, were victims of acts of harassment.

Mr. Cesar Mamani, a Peruvian political refugee in Chile and an activist who organised several protests supporting Mr. Fujimori's extradition, received anonymous telephone threats at his home. Additionally, since the organisation, on 20 November 2005, of a seminar on the refugees and exiles in Chile, he has been followed by a car wherever he went.

Furthermore, Mrs. July Palomino, also a Peruvian political refugee in Chile, constantly received anonymous threatening phone calls and was continually followed in her movements. On 30 November 2005, three individuals, who presented themselves as members of the "international police", searched her house and filmed several documents.

That same day, Mr. Diego Carrasco, a lawyer who represents civil society organisations in the extradition proceedings related to Mr. Fujimori, was threatened with a firearm by several individuals who stole his computer, his cellular phone, as well as several documents, including his agenda and his address book. Earlier that day, these individuals had followed him and searched his vehicle in Santiago city centre.


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

35. See Annual Report 2004, Urgent Appeal CHL 001/0205/OBS 012, Open Letter to the Chilean authorities, 19 April 2005 and Press Releases, 12 and 27 July 2005.

36. See above.

37. See Urgent Appeals CHL 001/0705/OBS 056, 056.1 and 056.2.

38. See Urgent Appeal CHL 004/1205/OBS 127.

39. See above.

40. See Urgent Appeal CHL 003/1205/OBS 124.

Search Refworld

Countries