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Chile: Mapuche leaders acquitted of terrorism charges

On 22 July six Mapuche leaders were acquitted of terrorism charges by a criminal court in Temuco, southern Chile. The indigenous leaders stood accused of forming a terrorist organization to advance claims to their ancestral land. Pursuant to a ruling of the Supreme Court in which an earlier acquittal had been annulled, the defendants faced charges under Chile’s anti-terror law, which permits the use of “faceless witnesses”. The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of indigenous peoples had expressed concern at the disproportionate charges and the use of anti-terror legislation against the Mapuches.

UN Statement HRW Statement