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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 16:42 UTC



Rebel Mapuche leader Héctor Llaitul found guilty, faces up to 25 years in jail

Tuesday, April 23rd 2024 - 20:28 UTC
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Llaitul claimed the trial was the result of the clash between two cultures Llaitul claimed the trial was the result of the clash between two cultures

Mapuche leader Héctor Llaitul has been found guilty of attacking authorities and other violent crimes. The prosecution has requested Llaitul be jailed for 25 years but the sentence will only be announced next month. The defendant claimed the trial was fueled by a “political persecution” stemming from the clash between two cultures. The indigenous leader was arrested in August 2022 and has since been remanded in custody at the Biobío Penitentiary Complex, some 500 kilometers from Santiago.

In reading the verdict, Judge Rocio Pinilla noted that the court considered there was “abundant evidence that the defendant appears to be committing disruptive acts” in videos and images proving the head of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) was involved “in these attacks from the year 2020.”

“Consequently, a verdict of conviction is handed down as the author of the crimes of incitement and apology to the violence of the State Security Law as a repeated offense,” the court's ruling went on.

“It is possible to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt,” that Llaitul incurred in the “conducts detailed at length in the accusation against him,” the magistrate also explained.

Under Llaitul's leadership, the CAM is believed to have been behind numerous arson and armed attacks against forestry machinery, trucks, and buildings of forestry companies in territories historically owned by the Mapuche people.

“Here there has been a clash of culture that has led to a criminal trial”, which “has to do with this impossibility of understanding what the Mapuche cause is,” Llaitul told the court before the verdict was announced.

Chile's Justice Minister Luis Cordero described Llaitul's conviction by the Temuco court as a “historic success” that sends a message of “no impunity” to other would-be rebels.

Categories: Environment, Politics, Chile.

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