Urgent Call to Action - Stop the Deportation of Indigenous Mapuche Human Rights Defender

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Petición de Flor Calfunao para obtener asilo político en Ginebra-Suiza.

Ginebra, 13 de junio 2017

Flor Calfunao Paillalef es integrante de la Comunidad Juan Paillalef, de nacionalidad mapuche (Chile); pueblo indígena ubicado al sur de Chile y Argentina.

En 1996 Flor llegó de invitada a Suiza, debido a la situación de represión policial e indefensión en que se encontraba su comunidad, su retorno se vio interrumpido por temor a ser detenida. Su madre había sido fuertemente reprimida durante la dictadura de Pinochet a partir de 1973, siendo detenida, torturada y encarcelada por los servicios de seguridad del régimen chileno (Ver Informe CEDAW-Agosto de 2012).

Durante su permanencia en Suiza, Flor comenzó hacer cursos de idioma y de administración, y para sustentarse comenzó a trabajar. Utiliza su tiempo libre para dar a conocer la situación del medio ambiente y los derechos humanos, en los órganos de Naciones Unidas, que afectan al pueblo Mapuche, actividad pública reconocida por círculos humanitarios que la nominaron para el premio “Femme, Exilee, Femme Engagee” (mujer exiliada, mujer comprometida), galardón recibido el 6 de marzo de 2008, por manos del Alcalde de Ginebra, Sr. Patrice Mugny.

En el 2008, luego de una persecución política que tuvo como resultado el encarcelamiento de la mayoría su familia en Chile, Flor se vio obligada a viajar a Chile a buscar a su sobrina Relmutray, de ocho años, pues la niña estaba totalmente desamparada. A su regreso a Suiza, Flor y su sobrina solicitaron asilo político que les fue denegado, el cual ahora sigue en trámite de apelación.  
  
Debido a la persecución política sistemática contra la comunidad Juan Paillalef, su Lonko, Juana Calfunao (hermana de Flor) solicitó protección a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) a favor de todos los miembros de su familia que viven en la IX Región de la Araucanía-Chile. En el año 2015, mediante Resolución 39/2015, la CIDH le otorgó las Medidas Cautelares a favor de la Lonko Juana Calfunao y seis miembros de su familia. Dado que el Estado chileno no adoptó ninguna medida de protección a favor de dichos beneficiarios, los ataques y amenazas contra la vida e integridad de los mismos se agudizaron y alcanzó a otros miembros de la familia. Por ello, en el año 2016, mediante Resolución 33/2016, la CIDH amplió las Medidas Cautelares a favor de otros tres miembros de la misma.

En septiembre de 2012, un Consejo de Lonko (autoridades mapuche) estableció la Misión Permanente Mapuche ante las Naciones Unidas con base en Ginebra, y nombraron a Flor Calfunao Apo Werken (embajadora) como jefe de la Misión diplomática. Considerando que la represión contra el pueblo Mapuche se acentúa, su permanencia en Suiza se hace hoy imprescindible para la defensa de este pueblo.

Solicitamos su adhesión para que Suiza le conceda el asilo político para que ella pueda continuar con su función de Embajadora de la nación Mapuche y de esta forma asegurar la defensa de este pueblo que por siglos viene sufriendo una represión institucionalizada por los estados de Chile y Argentina.

Organizations that subscribe to her application for political asylum in Switzerland:
Consejo de Lonko (Council of Chief who instituted the Mapuche Mission) - Wallmapu (Chile)
Mapuche International Link – England
Auspice Stella – France. NGOs with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Mapuche Human Rights Commission - Switzerland

Indian Council for South America (CISA) - Peru - NGO with roster consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

 

English Translation of text above

Petition to assist Flor Calfunao to Obtain Political Asylum in Geneva, Switzerland

An imminent deportation order issued by Swiss authorities threatens to return a courageous indigenous human rights advocate to the home country from which she fled persecution over twenty years ago. The order for her deportation will take effect on 19th June 2017 should it fail to be urgently repealed.

Ambassador and  Apo Werken (Mapuche special envoy) Flor Calfunao is a member of the indigenous Mapuche Juan Paillalef Community, of Wallmapu (Mapuche ancestral territory (Chile); The Mapuche are an indigenous nation located in the south of Chile and Argentina who's right to their ancestral territory is violently surpressed by the two dominant states.

Over 20 years ago in 1996, Flor arrived in Switzerland, due to the relentless Chilean state police repression to which she and her community were subject to, her return to her homeland was no longer possible for fear of further persecution and detention. Her family are one of a line of hereditary chiefs of the indigenous community traditionally charged with the responsibility to serve and protect their people, their ancestral lands, cultural traditions, environment and their sustainable way of life.

As an indigenous woman, Flor's mother before her had been brutally repressed during the Pinochet dictatorship since 1973, having been detained, tortured and imprisoned by the Chilean regime's security services (See CEDAW Report-August 2012) and Flor throughout her childhood and early adult life had observed the persistent abuse of her mother, her family and her community by the Chilean state police forces. As such she bears the emotional scars of her early exposure to such atrocities.

During her stay in Switzerland, Flor has consistently worked to raise crucial awareness of the environmental and human rights violations that affect the Mapuche people within the United Nations system, a public activity recognised by humanitarian circles, as such she was nominated for the prize "Femme, Exilee, Femme Engagee "(Exiled woman, committed woman), receiving the award on March 6, 2008, by the Mayor of Geneva, Mr. Patrice Mugny.

In September 2012, a Council of Mapuche Lonko (traditional Indigenous authorities) issued their mandate to establish the Mapuche Permanent Mission to the United Nations based in Geneva, and appointed Apo Werken (Mapuche special envoy) Flor Calfunao ambassador as head of the diplomatic mission. Considering that the repression against the Mapuche people is increasing, her residential permanence in Switzerland is remains vital for the defence of her people.

In 2008 an accelerated political persecution resulting in the imprisonment of the majority of her family in Chile, including that of her sister Lonko (chief) Juana Calfunao, due to their peaceful resistance in defence of their indigenous ancestral lands took place. Flor was thus forced to take the perilous journey to return to Chile in order to search for the imprisoned Lonko's eight-year-old daughter Relmutray, as the child was entirely alone and vulnerable after the imprisonment of her parents and siblings. Upon their return to Switzerland, Flor and her niece applied for political asylum which were denied to them (though the appeal remains in process some nine years later.)

In 2006 following the release of her parents and other family members after a four year jail sentence, Relmu aged just 14 years old returned to her family home in Chile with her mother in the hope that assurances by the Chilean State pertaining to the dangers which she had previously sought asylum from no longer existed. However the state persecution persisted on her return to her family home and  in distressing video footage taken on her return, Relmu was observed desperately fleeing on foot with her mother within their village in an attempt to escape violent apprehension and detention by multiple heavily armoured police officers whilst their community was under siege by the authorities. This sobering reality bore testimony to the reality that should Flor return home, she too would inevitably suffer the same ongoing persecution and threat to life and liberty.

Due to systematic political persecution against the Juan Paillalef community, in 2015 Lonko Juana Calfunao traveled to Washington DC to present the case of the breach of the Mapuche communities human, civil and land rights on the part of the Chilean State to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The case was accepted for consideration and on her subsequent return to her community the Lonko was immediately detained as a result of taking this action. Her request had sought protection from the (IACHR) in favour of all members of her family living in Region IX of The Araucanía - Chile through Resolution 39/2015, the IACHR granted the precautionary measures in favour of Lonko Juana Calfunao and six members of her family.

Since the Chilean State did not take any protective measures in favour of these beneficiaries, the attacks and threats against their lives and their integrity became increasingly acute and affected further members of the family. Therefore, in 2016, through Resolution 33/2016, the IACHR extended the precautionary measures to include three other members of the family.

Please lend your valuable support to Ambassador Flor Calfunao by signing our petition today! The signatures collected in support of Flor's case will be conveyed with immediacy to the Swiss authorities in support of our urgent plea for them to act with compassion and in line with accepted international standards including those enshrined within the Geneva Conventions, to overturn their decision to return Flor to her home country where she would face certain risk to life, liberty, freedom of expression and security, through deprivation of her human civil and political rights.

In securing her right to political asylum in Switzerland Flor would be enabled to continue in her role as Ambassador of the Mapuche Permanent Mission to the United Nations so as to ensure the defence of her people who for centuries have suffered the deprivation of their basic human rights due to institutionalised discrimination and repression by the states of Chile and Argentina.

Organizations that subscribe to her application for political asylum in Switzerland:
Consejo de Lonko (Council of Chief who instituted the Mapuche Mission) - Wallmapu (Chile)
Mapuche International Link – England
Auspice Stella – France. NGOs with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Mapuche Human Rights Commission - Switzerland.

Indian Council for South America (CISA) - Peru - NGO with roster consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

 



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