|Jan 18 2008
Chilean Judge: Justice for Mapuche Indigenous.
Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) The murder of a young Mapuche
man in the southern Chilean region of Araucania by carabineers, the more
than 90 days of strike by a Mapuche prisoner and systematic protests,
increased tensions in the Chilean indigenous conflict.
The Mapuche people say they are struggling for their rights, such as
defense of their lands, waters and protection of the environment.
In an interview with Prensa Latina, former Judge Juan Guzman Tapia,
linked to the cause of Chilean indigenous peoples, explained that the
Mapuche people have been victims of European occupation for more than
The new invasion, robbery, occupation and trickery was increased with
the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), which
exterminated a great number of Mapuche people.
The former judge explained that many people thought that with the end of
the Pinochet regime things would get better, but the Chilean
Constitution is neoliberal and discriminatory.
He added that the Chilean government favors land invasion by
transnationals, allows the takeover of forests and other resources that
contribute to increase the profits of enterprises and organizations.
For Guzman, a judge who tried Pinochet, the Mapuches are suffering "the
worst invasion by great economic powers."
"That explains the resistance and vindication struggle of the
communities, the recrudescence of violence, and other factors, like the
recent murder of Matias Catrileo, 22," he said.
A test by a laboratory of the Investigation Police determined that a
bullet in the back killed Catrileo, the second fatal victim of violent
acts against Mapuche activists.
Guzman said homicide is punishable in Chile with five years of prison,
but in practice, terrorist actions or behaviors were punished with
sentences of 10 years of prison.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet appointed a commission to face the
Mapuche community crisis.
If this is not a political measure, it would give great satisfaction to
the Mapuche people, because it is not about promises, but considering
measures to benefit them," he concluded.
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