Mapuche activist Facundo Jones Huala extradited to Chile

He had escaped to Argentina in 2022 while serving a nine-year prison sentence for arson

Facundo Jones Huala to be extradited to Chile. Image: Télam

Mapuche leader Facundo Jones Huala was extradited to Chile on Thursday morning to complete a nine-year prison sentence, of which he still has six months left to serve. According to the PuelMapu Mapuche Autonomous Movement (known as MAP), he was escorted by officers from Interpol and the Argentine Federal Police. 

In 2018, a criminal court in the Chilean city of Valdivia convicted Jones Huala of arson for an attack on a farm in 2013, as well as illegal possession of a weapon. While he served most of his sentence, in February 2022 he escaped Chile while under house arrest. He was on the run for almost a year before being arrested on January 30, 2023, in the town of El Bolsón in Río Negro province. From there, he was transferred to the Esquel Penitentiary Unit in Chubut province.

The extradition trial began in July last year. Jones Huala’s lawyers insisted that their defense was hampered because the court did not allow them to present several pieces of evidence. However, their arguments were rejected and Argentina’s Supreme Court confirmed Jones Huala’s extradition in November — he held a 25-day dry hunger strike in protest.

The Indigenous rights activist will be taken to Valdivia first and then assigned a prison where he will serve the rest of his sentence, according to a MAP press release. Jones Huala’s health is allegedly good and they added that he is in “high spirits” with an attitude “in line with our political approach: they haven’t subdued us.”

—with information from Télam


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