Buenos Aires Times

argentina MILITANT MAPUCHE LEADER

Supreme Court backs Jones Huala extradition to Chile

Jones Huala is wanted in Chile on a number of charges including the destruction of private property and the illegal possession of firearms. If found guilty, he could spend up to 10 years in jail.

Friday 24 August, 2018
Facundo Jones Huala, leader of the Ancestral Mapuche Resistance (RAM) group.
Facundo Jones Huala, leader of the Ancestral Mapuche Resistance (RAM) group. Foto:Cedoc-Perfil

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Argentina's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against the extradition to Chile of Facundo Jones Huala, the leader of the militant Mapuche group RAM.

Jones Huala is wanted in Chile on a number of charges including the destruction of private property and the illegal possession of firearms. If found guilty, he could spend up to 10 years in jail.

His lawyers argued against the extradition request on the grounds of the double jeopardy logic, which the Court rejected. The country's top judges also threw out arguments Jones Huala would be persecuted within the Chilean penitentiary system for his ethnicity or nationality, and that he would receive cruel and inhuman treatment, the CIJ judicial news portal reported.

In March, federal judge Gustavo Villanueva's decision to accept Chile's extradition request prompted an outbreak of violence in the southern city of Bariloche, where protesters threw rocks at Border Patrol and Airport Security Police. Fifteen people were detained including eight men, seven women and a 14-year-old.

Jones Huala's name gained further prominence late last year amid the disappearance and death of 28-year-old artisan Santiago Maldonado.

Supporters of the Mapuche movement say the Mauricio Macri government is criminalising outspoken indigenous communities to create "an internal enemy" that can justify its security and police reform agenda.

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