Government opens to evaluate detention center for people serving sentences who are part of the Original Peoples


VallejoThe Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, spoke of the creation of a special prison for members of the Original Peoples. He indicated that it is an issue under evaluation and that it is up to the Ministry of Justice —led by Marcela Ríos— to evaluate it, “because the Gendarmerie and therefore the prisons depend on it”.

The head of the Government General Secretariat (Segegob), Camila Vallejo, referred to the issue along the same lines, stating that “there are several MPs who have raised this proposal across the board, not just a political sector”.

“Therefore, what the Undersecretary of Justice and the ministry have indicated is that this proposal is accepted and will be evaluated,” said the spokeswoman for La Moneda. And she added: “Since it was a proposal that was raised across the board, among other things it must be studied and this was indicated by the Ministry of Justice”.

For his part, explained the Undersecretary of Justice, Jaime Gajardo Third that “there is a group of parliamentarians both from the opposition and from the government party who have already formally proposed to us the possibility of a penitentiary institution for people who are serving sentences and who are part of the Mapuche people. We are evaluating it”.

“We are also reviewing the costs that this would entail and whether it is indeed possible within the framework established by the ILO Convention 169 —a document that establishes specific rules for respecting prison in the case of indigenous peoples—” said Undersecretary Gajardo.

The independent deputy and part of the Republican caucus, Stephan Schubert, recalled that “this is a delicate issue and that, among other things, it is necessary to analyze case by case and pay attention to international treaties and in particular with respect to what the agreement of the ‘ILO, of which Chile is a part’.

“What matters is not to make this mean a privilege, but really a good way to guarantee the imprisonment of those people who find themselves in the special condition of indigenous peoples,” added the parliamentarian.

Human rights have passed legislation to recognize penal rights for indigenous peoples

It is worth recalling that in September of this year, with six votes in favor and two against, the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies approved the idea of ​​legislating on the bill amending two codes to recognize criminal and procedural rights for people belonging to indigenous peoples.

The project is based on ILO Convention 169 and the 2007 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These international legal frameworks call for alternative measures to deprivation of liberty.

Likewise, it highlights the international instruments on the rights of indigenous peoples, in force in Chile in the Indigenous Law itself, of 1993, as well as in the commitments undertaken by the State of Chile, its institutions and its representatives, from 1989 to today, which do not they are still satisfied.

In this sense, the proposal makes changes to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, it promotes alternative measures to deprivation of liberty when establishing a sentence for a person belonging to indigenous peoples.

For this, it is proposed to take into consideration their uses and customs, as well as the differentiating economic, social and cultural characteristics of indigenous peoples.

Other areas of the project

The text of the law also proposes that if the judge opts for preventive detention in a prison, he must provide that the defendant’s rights are protected. In this area, for example, they are believed to develop their religious ceremonies or maintain their cultural characteristics.

Furthermore, it indicates that the sentence must express, in detail, the foundations of the analysis of the modifying circumstances of the criminal responsibility. In the same way, the economic, social and cultural characteristics of the convict should be considered, which determine the application of alternative penalties to the custodial sentence.

The motion was presented by PS deputies Emilia Nuyado, Marcos Ilabaca, Manuel Monsalve, Luis Rocafull and Leonardo Soto; PC Carmen Hertz; Common claudia mix; FRVS Alejandra Sepúlveda; PPD Ricardo Celis; and RD Miguel Crispi.

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