Chile: Celestino Córdova found Guilty

In a divided ruling, Mapuche indigenous leader Celestino Córdova has been found guilty of starting a deadly fire at a farm on 4th January 2013 in the Araucanía region in southern Chile. The fire led to the deaths of farmer Werner Luchsinger and his wife Vivianne Mackay. According to his lawyer, Pablo Ortega, the prosecution had no direct or indirect evidence linking the Mapuche leader to the crime – the only thing connecting him to the fire was that he was arrested close to the farm on the night of the incident. Córdova also released a statement saying that he had been taken to trial “without any evidence” against him. He went on to say his imprisonment is a “threat to the new generations” and an “empty gesture” on the part of the Chilean state. The prosecution had envoked the anti-terrorist law in the case, something his defence argued was used to put fear into the population. However, the same tribunal absolved Córdova of terrorism charges. The prosecution have asked that he be sentenced to life imprisonment. Córdova’s sentencing will take place on 28th February at 4pm.

Source: The Argentina Independent

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