The VJ Movement interviews Pascual Pichun Collonao, a 27-year-old journalist and fourth-year student at
Pascual Pichún Collonao is a 27-year-old Mapuche communicator and student of the Faculty of Journalism, La Plata National University, Argentina. Pascual had been in Argentina since 2005, where he obtained a temporary residence permit from the Argentine authorities. He is a fourth-year student, works ad honorem in the Human Rights Secretariat of the Faculty of Journalism, and is involved in a number of the university´s community outreach projects. As an indigenous communicator he participates in several dialogue platforms in defense of indigenous peoples´ rights.
On February 26 of this year, Pascual was arrested by police intelligence personnel in
Chile has an anti-terrorism law in place imposed by
Mr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen,
Pascual is considered a fugitive from Chilean justice since 2003, when he was sentenced to five years and one day in prison, along with his brother Rafael. He was convicted in a clearly unfair trial, accused of setting fire to a logging truck in 2002 near the village where he lived with his family.
Similarly, Pascual´s father had been sentenced under the anti-terrorism law which imposes penalties that are three times higher than the ones for ordinary crimes. Today, Mapuche communities denounce this law as being used exclusively for cases related to the mobilization of the