May 27, 2004
In March in the city of Angol, IX Region, the trial began of
Segundo Aniceto Norín Catriman and Pascual Pichún Paillalao, both
Mapuche community leaders, and of a Mapuche sympathizer, Patricia Troncoso.
They were tried under an "anti-terrorism" law enacted during the military
government on charges of "terrorist arson" and "threat of terrorist
action". The court allowed evidence from two anonymous witnesses to be
given from behind a screen with the voice distorted. All three defendants were
acquitted of all charges owing to lack of evidence. However, an appeal against
the verdict by the prosecution was accepted by the Supreme Court. After a retrial
in September, the two men were acquitted of "terrorist arson" but
were sentenced to five years and one day in prison for "terrorist threats".
An appeal was lodged and rejected. Patricia Troncoso was acquitted of all charges.
AI country visits
In March an AI delegation visited Chile and collected human rights data, raised concerns with government officials and met representatives of the human rights community. It attended the opening of the trial of two Mapuche leaders and a sympathizer.