Attorneys representing three Mapuche men charged with the murder of Werner Luchsinger and Vivianne Mackay began proceedings to appeal the life sentence handed down to the trio by the Chilean Courts Tuesday.
The three men, Jose Tralcal, Luis Tralcal, and Jose Peralino, were found guilty of the 2013 murders along with arson charges.
During the three hours long session, the defense team presented audio recordings along with evidence, which was omitted from the original trial, and instances in which the rights of Peralino had been violated. The lawyers also argued that the men were victims of an “untidy investigation” and possibly “police coercion” as well.
The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court announced it would return Thursday morning to listen to the list of allegations against the men; the defense told teleSur.
Though the case is complicated and extensive, the lawyers were able to present the foundation of their case, Tralcal’s defense attorney, Sebastian Saavedra said.
"We are now calmly waiting to hear the allegations of the counterpart," Saavedra said.
The Indigenous trio say they are confident and have a “good feeling” about the case which is believed to be completed by next month.
“In the Mapuche world, dreams are important, and they have told us that they have had good dreams," Saavedra said.
Just outside the Palace of Courts, demonstrators paraded on the steps in support of the indigenous men to the slogan, “Justice for toxos, no more impunity!”
Eleven Mapuche were arrested relating to the murder of Werner Luchsinger, 75, and Vivianne Mackay, 69, who died in a 'terrorist' arson attack carried out by hooded assailants in January 2013 in Temuco.
After a lengthy four year investigation, eight were eventually released from pre-trial detention due to insufficient evidence. The remaining three, one of whom is a machi (a native religious and medical leader), were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
However, Chilean police watchdog La Tercera confirmed in May that military police forged evidence on which they based accusations of terrorism against Mapuche activists.