Category Archives: news

Machi Celestino Córdova sentenced to 18 years in prison

from paismapuche.org

This Friday the Oral Criminal Court of Temuco handed down a sentence of 18 years in prison to the machi Celestino Córdova, who was found guilty of the fire in which the latifundista couple Luchsinger-Mackay died, in Vilcún, mapuche territory.

“By a majority of votes, a Celestino Cerafín Córdova Tránsito -ya antes individualizado- is sentenced to a penalty of 18 years imprisonment, and perpetual disqualification from holding public political office, for being deemed the author of a fire resulting in death”, said the 120-page ruling.

The conviction, which was conducted under strict police presence, both inside and outside the courtroom, ended with the rejection of the request of the prosecutors, who had asked for qualified life imprisonment (40 years) and without the right to benefits.

Previously defense attorney Karina Riquelme announced that they will appeal for a mistrial, since the macho Córdova was convicted as a “collaborator”, and not actually the “author”.

While the reading was given in court, hundreds of people demonstrated outside in support of the mapuche authority, which ended in clashes with police.

Last february 20th, the chilean courts believed the prosecutor’s version of the supposed participation of the machi Córdova in the attack that happened the morning of january 4th, 2013 at the Granja Lumahue estate, where Werner Luchsinger and his wife Vivianne Mackay lost their lives.

After the reading, regional prosecutor of the Public Ministry and in this case, Cristian Paredes, commented that the ruling would be reviewed in full for future action, however he felt that at least, the years given to Córdova “are consistent with the gravity of the crime”.

“The penalty imposed is 18 years; 18 without the possibility of alternative benefits, therefore we think it is a sentence that at least partially fits the severity of the harm caused to the victims. We need to review the wording of the judgment. Today only a brief section was read concerning the most aggravated conditions (…) we must review the entire contents to ultimately decide whether we will ask for a mistrial”, said the prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the lawyer Carlos Tenorio, who represented the Luchsinger-Mackay  family at the trial, assured that the case was “very complex, in which proving a fire resulting in death is not easy. Particularly in this region.”

It should be remembered that the judges rejected the government’s classification of the events as “terrorism”.

The lawyer Pablo Ortega, who defended the ancestral mapuche authority of Lof Lleupeko, said that he is “calm. In fact he has told me that for his family, for his people, for his communities, he is prepared and in good spirits. Both he and his defense are hopeful about resources that will come in time, and that we can obtain the declaration of absolution that is what the defense believes in.”

If they touch one of us

*If they touch one of us*

*Solidarity with Mónica and Francisco*

It’s already been two months since Mónica and Francisco, along with three other comrades, were arrested, isolated and the former two subsequently jailed under the harsh FIES regime, and the others on conditional release (with weekly sign-in) awaiting trial for the same charges.

Many comrades from different places remarked to us of the apparent aura of <<secrecy>> perceived around everything related to the comrades’ situation with the case itself, and that following the media hype around everything about the arrests a statement should have been made. What is certain is that, as we already know, against the propaganda of the regime and its ideologues, that is, against the press, little can be done as counterweight; it can be proven, seen how they weave their webs, and how, closely with the state, they are carving a niche to fill with the next internal enemy: Islamists, Galician independistas, animalists accused of opening cages, anarchists… These –those who do not wish to go through the orthodox  ritual that  mandates representation or using the proper channels (that is, democratic, legal, etc.)– will be those who fill the vacancy created by ETA,  a vacancy that serves the purpose of not only occupyin the postion of internal enemy that feeds into the bureaucratic, repressive and judicial arsenal, the call for antiterrorism (itself an institution that refuses to go away and therefore has to prove its effectiveness and existence as necessary), a vacuum which can also be noted in the cells to be filled and in the pages of the press, that would leave room for other things in the reader’s mind; the evictions matter little,  or that millions of people have no way to make a living –not even through channels of slave labor–, that the politicians fill their treasure chests and laugh in our face. There are very dangerous phantoms, they tell us, of whom to be truly afraid: the immigrants, the terrorists, etc.

Those who have seen the news these days will remember all the charged xenophobic language used by these media props, the journalists and ideologues of the regime,  to described our comrades. The intention is clear: to generate false myths. They tell us of the “Mediterranean triangle”, that “they are outsiders”, of these “foreigners who come to do bad things”, of “bad anarchists who come from the outside” and of “Greek and Italian anarchists who come to instruct those here”, etc. What these lying “experts” fail to recognize is that in the Spanish State there is a long tradition –so to speak– that is anarchist, huge, diverse and fluctuating, but almost as old as anarchism itself: from the struggles of the Andalusian libertarians, the reverberations of propaganda by the deed, the Tragic Week of 1909, the Revolution of 1936, the anti-Franco guerillas, the millions of people in the free Barcelona of 1977, anarcho-syndicalism, all moments and events that make it clear that here, identification with anarchist practice is nothing new.

As for  the investigation against our arrested comrades, it is closed , which doesn’t mean that new evidence can’t appear overnight. What we also know is that there is another open investigation that appears to seek to create an international anarchist organization, with strong harassment of several comrades. We have no idea where they will surprise us from since we have seen in these last months that the inventive capacity of the police is rather boundless, nor do we know if these latest arrests in Galicia are part of this plot. We do not deny the existence of “international relationships”, nor that anarchists move –like everyone else– in a world which largely forces you to move even though you don’t want to; including that we travel in search of complicities, we won’t deny evidence, but we do flatly refuse to recognize the existence of this fictitious structured organization that the cops and judges love to imagine. Once again they try to seek out elements that fit their theories, although their geometric figure must warp and add more angles. What we have seen with our own eyes has been the collaboration (or simple *spectacle*)between the police and authorities of Chile, Spain and Italy, we have seen their press conferences, their handshakes and praises and it disgusted us. The only international terrorist organization that we know, that we know of the existence of is that of the States and their institutions.

From the heritage religion has left us with, from the secularization of concepts which have gone beyond religion itself, are the notion of guilt and punishment which are found deeply rooted inside of us. “If it wasn’t them, why not say so?” say a few naive voices. Others, less naive, speak of the concrete act of which they are accused in order to refuse solidarity. Both attitudes point an accusatory, policing finger –consciously or not– towards something (our mothers told us it was bad manners to point fingers at people). All action is debatable, even that with which these comrades are charged, but between us, between comrades, in a manner that is serious, conscientious and to draw conclusions favoring the continuation of the struggle. The media *assault* sought, from the outset, to undermine the possible path of solidarity, to create a wedge and a vacuum, to separate. Harsher than the concrete panels that make up the prisons is the emptiness generated by a lack of solidarity. Regrettably, they partly had their work cut for them by us: once again the *good* anarchists and the *bad* anarchists, the *insurrectionary* and the *social*, the *cultural* and the *active*, and many more, leaning on a false separation, a nonexistent false dichotomy and coming from a simplistic and superficial analysis in our opinion, which only serves to face the different fronts of anarchist struggle against each other.

The press and the police send clear messages on the matter: “If you try to subvert the established order we will lock you up, we will publicize your faces and names, and we will treat you like what you are, like terrorists”, “if you stand in solidarity with those who do these things or are accused of doing them, you too will be treated like terrorists”, etc.And similar to a harsh critical parent, ultimately the threatening hand is more effective than the blow. But, what if we learn to face that blow so that it causes us the least harm possible?

If we refuse to stand in solidarity with people because we are not in agreement with what they are *accused* of, that is, because we do not agree with

the actions of which they are accused, we are legitimizing the voice of the state and affirming the accusations, we are entering terrain that is not ours but that of our executioners. Beyond what we think of the acts, we are convinced that solidarity should never be seen from a moral point of view, a point of view much influenced by the media and also, from the complete opposite perspective we don’t believe that the validity of any action has to do with a criminal code, throughout the duration of a trial. Laws and morality (which also implicitly generates laws) we will leave to the judges, to the priests, to the *out cry of the* journalists, to those who are afraid of themselves. And of the rage of the oppressed.

Direct communication with our jailed comrades has been difficult since the beginning. We know that they are in good moods and staying strong.

They are receiving letters (some of them arrive very late) and can only send two letters a week, one of which is to communicate with each other. Francisco is getting visits, but has gone weeks without seeing other prisoners because he has been alone in the module. A few days ago he was notified that they will also be applying article 10 (FIES 1) and he will be transferred to Córdoba.  Mónica, after being under observation, alone, and without vegetarian diet, is in Brieva (Ávila) under article 10, in a module together with 4 political prisoners and 8 other prisoners. She doesn’t get visits yet (since the bureaucratic procedures have to be redone every time there is a transfer) but she can make some phone calls.

These arrests and incarcerations have brought us to float some questions: how to express solidarity?, how to make it so that it is not only the people closest to the arrested/accused who have to take care of everything?, what does the FIES mean for anarchist prisoners and what can we do?, how not to give in to the blackmail of the jail and its shadow?

We’ve set up an email address to which those who wish to know more about Mónica and Francisco’s situation can write. We are also collecting money for present and future costs since surely they will have to complete preventative detention until the sentencing  and we all know the costs involved in this.

Any qualms, contributions, critiques, questions:  solidaridadylucha@riseup.net

No one will be left alone. *If they touch one of us they touch all of us* is a phrase we love to scream. Let’s see if we can put it in practice.

Freedom and Solidarity!

note: as of publishing, Francisco has been transferred to Cordoba, is with other prisoners, and is doing much better.

Letter from Mexican political prisoner Fernando Barcenas

Letter from Mexican political prisoner Fernando Barcenas

Fernando Barcenas is an 18 year old political prisoner from Mexico who has been detained since December 13, 2013 for allegedly setting the Coca Cola tree in Mexico City on fire during a protest against transportation fair hikes. Fernando economically supports his mother, so his incarceration has affected his family’s ability to  make ends meet.

To donate to Fernando, please wire donations to Banco Azteca: 78731304951452 to the name  Ana María Castillo (Fernando’s mother). Below is a translation of an open letter he wrote from prison.

December 27th, 2013

To the student community
To all freedom fighters who fight with heart
To the people of Mexico .

I am writing this communique as a cry for help,  amidst all the injustices . It’s been 14 days since my detainment and I am still cloistered between the four  walls of this cell that represents my current situation. I have been removed from the short term entry area , which bring me increasingly further away from  fighting for my freedom . Reconnecting my situation to the larger social framework is to realize that I am I am crucified by the system that is increasingly oppressive.

I call for gestures of solidarity  to emphasize my situation as a political prisoner of the state, as well as  to communicate my  full support of the struggle towards freedom that imprisoned comrades of October 2nd  are undertaking, who also find themselves  incarcerated in seclusion.

Being imprisoned is like being  living dead, as one’s life is kept underground  via  false accusations and fabricated grievances that profile us as  criminals.

That is why with this statement I pronounce that I am a free student, a  social warrior, and above all a humanitarian.

I appreciate the support of all those still in struggle against the injustices of the system and all the people who have not left my side.

 

Thank you so much

To your health and freedom,

Political Prisoners to the streets !
Down  with  the prison walls !

Fernando Luis Barcenas Castillo

The werkén Daniel Melinao was acquitted of charges for the death of GOPE sergeant Hugo Albornoz

from paismapuche.org

The Oral Criminal Court of Angol absolved the werkén Daniel Melinao of the charges in which he was accused of being co-author of the murder of policeman Hugo Albornoz in April 2012, during a violent raid on the Wente Winkul Mapu del Lof Chekenko community. Outside the court, a group of mapuche comuneros arrived to perform a prayer.

The decision became known this morning following the audience of the reading of the verdict. In a split decision, two to one, the judges could not sustain the crude montaje brought by the prosecution along with the ministry of the interior in order to punish the struggle of Wente Winkul Mapu.

Now, it is expected, that the defeat of antimapuche prosecutor Luis Chamorro, will bring on a tantrum, insisting on his accusation, appealing to superior courts, or pushing for a mistrial.

Melinao was accused of being co-author of the death GOPE sergeant Hugo Albornoz. But the perpetrator according to the racist prosecutor Chamorro is Eric Montoya Montoya, who before he knew he would be charged in this case, he was pronounced to be in hiding after being convicted for the struggle of his community for the reclamation of mapuche territory occupied today by the latifundista businessman Juan de Dios Fuentes and due to the constant harassment from the prosecutor being suffered by him and his family.

According to the prosecutor, Eric Montoya Montoya received ammunition from Daniel Melinao, but since he could not prove the werken’s participation in the sergeant’s death, this story trips up the prosecutor’s thesis regarding the participation of the comuneros in the event. It even, to the contrary, reinforces the statement by the Wente Winkul Mapu community, that the death of the GOPE sergeant, happened by friendly fire, that is to say, he was killed by another policeman.

The prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 20 years for the aggravated homicide of a police official and also sought a penalty of ten years for Melinao for the crime of attempted murder against other policemen that same day and one year for damages.

Information on the situation of Hermes González and Alfonso Alvial, arrested December 11th in Santiago.

from hommodolars.org

On December 11th comrades Hermes and Alfonso were arrested, in the comuna of Pudahuel, allegedly charged with participation in the assault on a Banco Estado in that comuna, where there was also murdered at the hands of a bastard and cowardly guardian of capital, the comrade Sebastián Oversluij Seguel. Later they were taken to the 26th precinct of Pudahuel, where they were informed that they would be transferred to court the next day.

On Thursday the 12th they were taken, to the anticipation and curiosity of the disgusting bourgeois press, to the Center of Justice, where at about 11am they were processed in the 1st Warrants Court of Santiago. In that hearing the prosecutor requested to expand the detention for three days in order to delay the formalization of the investigation for lack of antecedents and pending expertise, however, the defense opposed, and the court ordered that it be deferred until the afternoon.

At 4pm our comrades were entered into a new hearing where they were told the acts for which they were being investigated, formalized as robbery with intimidation and carrying prohibited firearms. Also, the prosecutor requested preventative detention arguing that the comrades were a danger to society, and of escape. The court granted the request, and decreed a 90 day period of investigation. The defense was entrusted to a Public Defender.

They were entered into the Maximum Security Section of the High Security Prison, where Hermes is on the third floor south, and Alfonso, on the third floor west. They have three hours in the courtyard together, two visits a week, and can receive packages on thursdays.

Donations for packages are being received at La Hiedra Library (Portales 2615) during Library hours (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7pm to 9pm). These donations can consist of nonperishables (vegetarian), and personal hygiene items (soap, razors, deodorant, toilet paper, and the like).

We call for solidarity in all forms with our imprisoned comrades!

Down with the prison walls!

for more English-language information, see translations available on War on Society and ContraInfo

Chilean Apartheid: Judicial crusade against the Mapuche people

from paismapuche.org

Since October 2013 in occupied Wallmapu, a judicial crusade has developed against mapuche comuneros which as of december has condemned four youths to draconian sentences in two trials in the court of Angol.

In the beginning of October, Fernando Millacheo Marin was sentenced to 15 years and a day for repeated robbery with intimidation; Cristian Pablo Levinao Melinao to ten years and a day for robbery with intimidation, while Guido Bahamondes Gallardo was acquitted. On December 5th, another three youths were sentenced in Angol for similar charges in the case of the death of landowner Héctor Gallardo Aillapán.

But the processes don’t stop here, as at least two other trials are scheduled against comuneros in the rest of December: against the werkén Daniel Melinao, to begin monday the 16th, and in Lautaro, against comuneros of Lof Muko and Yeupeko Catrileo, on the 19th. In addition, they will soon fix a date in the case of the Machi Celestino Córdova, preparations for which have culminated in Temuco.

Daniel Melinao accused as “coauthor” of the death of corporal Hugo Albornoz

In April 2012 during a violent raid on the community of Wente Winkul Mapu, a seargant of the GOPE, Hugo Albornoz, was fatally injured. According to the women and elderly who resisted the police brutality of general Bezmalinovic for the umpteenth time, on that day several pickets of strongly armed police entered from different points into the small mapuche community in the valley of, shooting at anything that moved.

They say it was several times that the pickets entered and went through the community, going into houses and attacking everyone without discriminating whether they were young or old, man or woman.

Almost all the men were gone from the community when the police contingent was seen coming and several leaders had left early for the city. It is in this context that Corporal Albornoz was injured on the patio of one of the modest houses of Wente Winkul Mapu.

Police immediately removed him and later returned to the site to clean the area, and remove shell casings and all traces of the incident.

The media of the Chilean police institution declared that Corporal Albornoz had been injured in an ambush by unknown perpetrators on the public road that leads to the community.

They could not, however, clean up all the blood that the injured policeman lost, and the later expertise of the Investigational Police confirmed what the comuneros had said.

The treacherous raid where Corporal Albornoz died was not the first nor the last of the boorish attacks lead by Iván Bezmalinovic against Wente Winkul Mapu. There was so much extreme cruelty by the police against this community that the Supreme Court, on at least two occasions, had to explicitly order the police to especially respect the children and comply with legal procedure in their raids.

It is in this context, after more than a year of investigation and oddly without arriving at any result, that there emerged as a kind of divine revelation received by antimapuche prosecutor Luis Chamorro the imputation of “coauthor” of werkén Daniel Melinao in Albornoz’s death, the most public of the comuneros of Wente Winkul Mapu. And although no more is wielded against him than an elaborate interpretation of an equally elaborate telephonic know-how of Daniel’s cell phone, which would place him in the vicinity of the community that day, the antimapuche judicial enclave of Angol has kept him in jail for almost eight months to date.

On Monday the 16th begins the oral trial where the werkén is accused and, although without much expectation, we hope that during the proceeding the truth can come to light and he will be proven innocent.

The case of Machi Celestino Córdova

The case of Machi Córdova, the only defendant in the death of the Luchsinger-Mackay couple, is another case in which arrogance and a treacherous use of power seeks to imprison a comunero with no more evidence than the investigative team being “convinced” and the equal agreement of the biased judge about the participation of the mapuche religious authority in the act which culminated in the death of a settler couple.

The lack of proof in this case does not only make evident the ineptitude of the prosecutors, but also highlights the degree of underlying racial prejudice, not only in the chilean judicial system, but in all the state apparatus that maintains the occupation of Wallmapu since almost 150 years ago.

Piñera’s promise to his corporate peers:

President Sebastián Piñera entered office with the promise of taking a strong stance in the chilean-mapuche conflict and ending crime. At the end of his term, he has not been able to keep his word, but he has intensified his criticism and his pressure on the Judicial Power to get high penalties and lower probatory standards in mapuche cases.

After the electoral debacle of the right (and even before), Piñera has insisted on demonstrating a position of toughness, which leaves a suitable setting for getting convictions in emblematic cases. On the other hand, the new administration which will be installed in march will not want to take over the legal burden that looms, even from prior to the current government.

Scenario for conviction

This leaves for the period of november-march a favorable scenario to convict mapuche comuneros with little or no evidence.  We add to that that in Malleco, and in general throughout the region, there seems to be a species of antimapuche enclaves within the Judicial Power, principally in Angol, where the Supreme Court has repeatedly voided trials in which mapuche had been given very high sentences in the first instance. This is corroborated in cases like those of the comuneros of Wente Winkul Mapu, in which, upon appeals to the Supreme Court, they have been acquitted, or in the case of slain Rodrigo Melinao, absolved after death.

Kids who believed in chilean justice are convicted without evidence

The most recent of these cases is that of the youths Luis Marileo, Leonardo Quijón and Gabriel Valenzuela, knowing that they were accused of the death of landowner Héctor Gallardo voluntarily surrendered to the courts to demonstrate their innocence, but were convicted in spite of a shortage of evidence and the obvious contradictions in that which there was.

This most recent conviction is a clear example of the chilean judicial apartheid in Wallmapu, where the justice system is used as one more tool in the political prosecution of mapuche citizens.

For mapuche youth and for all the citizens of Wallmapu, this is a very clear message that to trust in chilean justice is a grave error which can be costly and which is the reason for those who bravely resist in clandestinity.

Political conviction against Mapuche youth of Lof Chekenko

from paismapuche.org

Three young mapuche political prisoners belonging to the iconic Lof Chekenko were convicted this thursday in Angol, for the murder of landowner Héctor Gallardo. The injustice of chilean courts newly displays their marked racism in an electoral context where the entire chilean political class washes their hands of it.

Luis Marileo, Gabriel Valenzuela and Leonardo Quijón, who risk sentences of 25 years for Marileo; 30 for Quijón and 10 for Gabriel Valenzuela, were found guilty of the crime of robbery and murder of the farmer, which occurred the night of September 1st, 2012, in the interior of land area 22, in the sector of San Ramón.

Upon hearing the verdict, the families burst into tears and began a struggle with the police personnel stationed in the room, where there were also family members of the deceased landowner.

The comuneros‘ protest later moved to the outside of the courthouse, prompting the deployment of a heavy contingent of Police Special Forces. Various windows of the justice building were destroyed with stones and an indeterminate number of comuneros were detained.

The convicted belong to the communities of Wente Winkul Mapu and José Guiñón, of Lof Chekenko, and have been persecuted since a young age.

This conviction marks a precedent for future trials to come against Mapuche comuneros accused by the Chilean state. From now until march, when the new chilean government takes office, various emblematic cases are scheduled in the courts, among them the trial against the Machi Celestino Cordova and the Werken Daniel Melinao, where it is very likely that they will also be convicted, pues en in this scenario of elections nobody assumes the political responsibility for the convictions that are issued.  Prosecutions and convictions that clearly respond to a political persecution against the communities that maintain dignified processes of resistance and reconstruction in Wallmapu.