Friday, 19 October 2012 19:40
Inter-American Federation of Human Rights accuses Chile of human rights abuses.
The Inter-American Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) is preparing to take court action against the state of Chile for human rights violations against the country’s indigenous Mapuche people. The violations are related to the prison convictions of several Mapuches between 2001 and 2003.
Jimena Reyes, head of the Americas Desk of the FIDH, has been in Chile this week meeting with various members of the Mapuche community in an effort to prepare for the court action that will proceed next year in the Inter-American Human Rights court in Costa Rica.
"It is a case against the Chilean state for the human rights violations committed between 2001 and 2003 regarding convictions under the antiterrorism law of members of the Mapuche community,” Reyes said.
The country’s antiterrorism law, passed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, has been regularly used over the years to convict Mapuches involved in conflicts demanding access to their ancestral lands. The law increases the penalty for crimes considered acts of terrorism, particularly arson, and critics believe it has criminalized the Mapuche social movement.
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