Chilean political prisoners sign now

Sr. Sebastiбn Piсera
Presidente de Chile

Estimado Sr. Presidente

Mario Silva supuestamente cometiу un robo hace 20 aсos y la justicia tardу 20 aсos en condenarlo a tres aсos de prisiуn. Muriу calcinado en el incendio de la prisiуn de San Miguel en Santiago en el cual murieron 82 reos, el 8 diciembre de 2010. Durante el tiempo que tardу la condena, йl habнa formado una familiatenнa 4 hijos y 5 nietoslos que quedan sin ningъn sustento ni ayuda econуmica debido a la grotesca negligencia del estado neoliberal.

Juan Tapia Olivares creciу bajo la dictadura de Pinochet. Conociу la hostilidad, la injusticia y el sufrimiento de la clase trabajadora y de la mayorнa de los chilenos y chilenas. Como adolescente se uniу a los miles de chilenos que lucharon incansablemente para recuperar la democracia en su paнs. Cuando la pseudo democracia remplazу la dictadura, continuу luchando por la libertad, para conquistar las mejores condiciones de vida para su pueblo.

En una emboscada preparada por carabineros en el aсo 1993, donde muriу la activista de derechos humanos Norma Vergara Cбceres, fue herido de bala. Ambos eran miembros del Movimiento Juvenil Lautaro (MJL). Lautaro fue un cacique Mapuche, y el peluquero del conquistador espaсol Pedro de Valdivia. Despuйs de aprender las tбcticas de guerra, las aplicу exitosamente y dirigiу a su gente en la defensa de su tierra en contra de los invasores. El MJL era clandestino en los tiempos de la seudo democracia de la Concertaciуn (1990-2010), y sus partidarios eran juzgados bajo la legislaciуn especial anti-terrorista de la dictadura.

Juan Tapia Olivares fue llevado a la Posta Central tras la emboscada. Estuvo 10 dнas con suero; le interrumpieron el tratamiento para torturarlo fнsica y sicolуgicamente. Posteriormente fue trasladado al 17є Juzgado ante el Ministro Arnoldo Dreysse, y luego a la ex‐penitenciaria. Ahн permaneciу 8 meses y de ahн fue trasladado a la cбrcel de alta seguridad donde pasу cuatro aсos.

En 1997 saliу en libertad bajo fianza. Regresу a su familia en la Tercera Regiуn. Tenнa que presentarse a la cбrcel local y firmar. Lo hizo durante tres aсos, sin salir de su pueblo. Cumpliу, y para йl se cerraba un doloroso capнtulo en su vida. Juan Tapia rehizo su vida, aprendiу el oficio de maestro yesero y pintor. Se incorporу a la vida de familia y trabajу durante trece aсos. En un control rutinario de identidad una tarde del domingo 24 de octubre de 2010, fue tomado prisionero, enviado a la fiscalнa militar de Copiapу y enviado a Santiago. La fiscalнa de Santiago le notificу una sentencia de 15 aсos de prisiуn, estб en la ex penitenciaria de Santiago. Juan Tapia ha quedado sin saber si tuvo defensa o ayuda y no conoce su expediente. No tiene abogado ni posibilidad de buscar justicia. En el pueblito donde todos se conocen se han recolectado firmas. El no cometiу ningъn error. Debido a su situaciуn econуmica, sus cuatro hijos han quedado sin sustento y educaciуn.

Exigimos que el Estado chileno intervenga de inmediato para poner a Tapia Olivares en libertad incondicional y que le pague una indemnizaciуn adecuada.

Sr. Sebastiбn Piсera
President of Chile.

Dear President,

We hope that the testimony which follows is read by people willing to leave a more humane society for the next generation. The facts below will hopefully be a trigger to take a stand against the continuous violation of human rights in the brutal neoliberal Chilean society inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship. These are the cases of two workers victimised by the Chilean justice system.

Mario Silva Nъсez had been condemned to three years of prison for robbery for a crime that had allegedly been committed 20 years ago. But he was one of the 82 inmates burnt alive in San Miguel prison in Santiago de Chile on 8 December 2010. His anachronistic sentence has left his 4 children and 5 grandchildren defenceless. It is essential that the Chilean justice system assumes responsibility for this mans family and the families of the 81 other victims of state failure.

Juan Tapia Olivares was an adolescent under Pinochets dictatorship and experienced the hostility of the fascist government. He joined the thousands of Chileans who struggled for the return of democracy, and became a member of the Lautaro Youth Movement (MJL) after being wounded by the police in an ambush in 1993. The MJL took its name from the indigenous Mapuche chief who was the conqueror Pedro de Valdivias barber. After learning Spanish warfare tactics, Lautaro led his people during the successful defence of their land against the Spanish. The MJL has worked clandestinely during the pseudo-democratic Concertaciуn regimes (1990-2010), and its activists are being judged under the special anti-terrorist legislation, a legacy of the dictatorship.

Juan Tapia Olivares was one of thousands of Chileans who have persisted on the road to freedom and decent living conditions for his people after Pinochet was defeated. During the police ambush in 1993, human rights activist Norma Vergara Cбceres (also a MJL member), was killed. While Olivares was hospitalised, his intravenous treatment was interrupted by military intelligence several times, and he was subjected to physical and physiological torture. Later in a civil court he was condemned to 4 years in prison, without credible evidence. He began his sentence in a common prison, but after 8 months was sent to a high security prison. In 1997 Tapia was released on bail after agreeing to present himself daily at the local jail for the next 3 years, and not to leave his home town Copiapу.

Tapia began to rebuild his life, and enrolled in an apprenticeship in plastering and painting to join the building and construction workforce. But he was again taken prisoner during an identity check by the police one Sunday afternoon, transferred to the Military Fiscal Office (MFO) in Copiapу and then to Santiago. The MFO delivered a verdict of 15 years of prison. Tapia does not know if he has a defence and has not had access to the case file. He is 46 years old now, married, and has 4 children studying who have no-one to provide for them. Juan Tapia Olivares has been imprisoned for his democratic political ideals in a pseudo democracy.

We the undersigned express our conviction that the Chilean state must intervene immediately, release Juan Tapia Olivares, and pay adequate compensation.

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Laverne DurhamBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
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Sr. Sebastiбn Piсera, Presidente de Chile

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