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News > Chile

Chile: Court Denies Mapuche Leader's House Arrest Petition

  • Citizens hold up a banner that reads

    Citizens hold up a banner that reads "Let Mashi Celestino return to his community", Chile, August 12, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @NolanPeltz

Published 13 August 2020

Over 100 organizations sent a letter to the UN requesting support for Celestino Cordova.

Chile's Supreme Court Thursday rejected a legal action to put Mapuche Indigenous leader Celestino Cordova under house arrest, although he is in critical health conditions after over 100 days of hunger strike inside a jail.


Chile: Celestino Cordova’s Health Worsen Amidst Hunger Strike

Considering the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Araucania's Public Defender requested the authorities that Cordova be transferred to his community to protect his health. The Supreme Court ruling, however, did not accept the petition.

The judges argued that the imprisonment of the Indigenous leader “is not illegal. Nor has his security been affected by acts emanating from the prison authority."

The Supreme Court also held that Cordova is serving his sentence in a place close to his residence and that fundamental rights related to "the special connection that Indigenous people have with their communities and territories have been respected."

Notwithstanding, Judge Jorge Dahm wanted to accept the request so that the Indigenous leader can remain for 48 hours in his community to carry out his traditional spiritual and health healing practices.

Over 100 social organizations sent a letter to the United Nations human rights rapporteurs to request international support for Mapuche people.

"The repression against the Mapuche communities worsens amid the hunger strike that Celestino Cordova began on May 4," the letter states.

"Besides being related to the situation of the Mapuche prisoners, the strikers also request the release of all political prisoners from the October revolt, many of whom are minors," it added.

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