Editor’s Note: This short note gives context to the recent extradition of Mapuche spiritual leader Facundo Jones Huala to Chile. Facundo Jones Huala has since initiated a hunger strike from prison in Chile, following his extradition from Argentina. The original in Spanish was published in Lafken Kurruf: Communicación Mapuche and can be found here.
Yesterday, September 11th, 2018, the spiritual leader Facundo Jones Huala was taken by helicopter from the Esquel prison in Argentina, where he was serving pre-trial detention after the Supreme Court of Argentina accepted Chile’s extradition request. Jones Huala was taken to Chile yesterday, and today he appeared before the Appellate Court of Valdiva around 11am, from where he was placed at the disposal of the Oral Criminal Court of Valdiva. Afterwards, around 2:00 pm, his hearing was held, from which another hearing was scheduled for December 3rd of this year.
It is important to point out that this happened just hours after the Committee of Human Rights of the United Nations asked the Argentine government that they suspend the extradition process, as an investigation was opened from a denunciation on part of the defense lawyer, Sonia Ivanoff, for the violation of the civil and political rights of the spiritual and political leader of the Pu Lof in Resistance of Cushamen.
Jones Huala was detained on July 27th, 2017, and Chilean justice accused him, together with five other Mapuche men, of having burnt the Pisu Pisué farm. Jones Huala has repeatedly denied his participation in the acts, and has furthermore assured that this is case of political persecution against him and that Chilean intelligence was illegally monitoring him before the fire.
The crimes for which he has been accused carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Up to this moment, the only person condemned is the Machi Millaray Huichalaf, who served 61 days in prison for cover-up, while the other defendants were acquitted. The process of Jones Huala, in change, continues forward because he left Chile without authorization, thus leading to his extradition.