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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 January 2010

Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela

THE WELL known left-wing Chilean documentary maker and journalist, Elena Varela, has been accused of "terrorism" by the Chilean authorities and risks 15 years in prison having stood up for the rights of indigenous Mapuche people.

Elena Varela made a film documentary on the struggle and conditions of the Mapuche people in Chile. In an attempt by the Chilean authorities to prevent her continuing her work, she was arrested last year and spent three months in prison. She is now accused of "terrorism" and her trial began on 8 January.

While all the main candidates in the recent Chilean elections supported a law guaranteeing constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples' rights in words; in deeds, the abuse and repression against the Mapuche people continues, with the tacit approval of the establishment.

Elena Varela has become a symbol of resistance to the repression against those attempting to denounce the discriminatory policies against the Mapuche people. The Socialist Party supports the struggle of Elena Varela and the struggle of the Mapuche people against the brutal and repressive policies of the Chilean state. We demand an immediate end to this fake judicial process.

Please send protest letters to contact@msgg.gov.cl , and send copies to srcitchile@gmail.com and to tanja.niemeier@europarl.europa.eu

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Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela


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