Argentina's Ambassador to Chile Rafael Bielsa Monday said the newly-paroled Mapuche leader Facundo Jones-Huala “could serve the rest of his sentence in Argentina.”
Jones Huala had been convicted in Chile for an act of arson against an empty house and also for possession of a firearm. The Argentine citizen was extradited in 2018. But the Parole Commission of the Temuco Court of Appeals Friday accepted an injunction presented by Huala's lawyers and granted him parole.
Bielsa explained from a hypothetical viewpoint how it was technically possible for a person sentenced in Chile to serve out the remainder of his sentence in Argentina: The petition reaches us and we transmit it to the Argentine Foreign Ministry so that it can process it as planned, which implies the intervention of the Ministry of Justice. The Argentine government would thus have the final word on whether the Mapuche leader is allowed back into the country or not.
We have an agreement with Chile for a long time to serve prison sentences in the country of birth or nationality,” Bielsa explained. But he added that there were technical issues to be worked out beforehand since parole mechanisms are not the same in each country.
Bielsa also defended his actions in October when he appeared before a Chilean court to support Jones Huala's lawyers requesting parole, which had been denied on that occasion: Bielsa said it was the Argentine Embassy's duty to do so. Assisting him does not mean advocating, Bielsa stressed. For that, he has his lawyers,” he went on.