Ambassador of the Mapuche Permanent Mission to the UN denied asylum for the second time

The Federal Administrative Court (FAC) confirms that the Mapuche population in Chile are not subject to collective persecution and negates the existence of a risk of targeted persecution against the appellant.

Symboldbild Mapuche
Photo: iStock

After arriving illegally in Switzerland in 1996, the Chilean national, who is a member of the Mapuche community, applied for asylum in 2008. Her application had already been rejected by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) in 2010 and the appellant had been ordered to leave Switzerland.

First negative judgment
In its judgment of 11 June 2013, the FAC examined the situation regarding the Mapuche people in Chile as well as the personal situation of the appellant. While it did not deny the existence of isolated cases of police violence during Mapuche demonstrations or of certain shortcomings of the military justice system in hearing property crimes perpetrated by Mapuche activists, it nonetheless judged that the Mapuche community was not subject to collective persecution in Chile and that the appellant was not able to produce any credible evidence that she was facing any current, concrete threat as an individual. The FAC therefore rejected her appeal.

On 7 October 2013, the appellant filed a new application with the SEM on the basis of new evidence. That application was rejected on 15 May 2017.

Second negative judgment
In its latest judgment, the FAC noted that violence in connection with conflicts regarding land ownership in La Araucanía is continuing and that the situation is even deteriorating following the rise in campaigning by Mapuche activists and the heightened crackdown by state and paramilitary forces as a result. However, it cannot confirm that collective persecution is ongoing inasmuch as no member of this community, both in La Araucanía and in Chile’s other regions, particularly Santiago, can demonstrate a well-founded fear of being persecuted with a high degree of probability for the only reason, , of belonging to this group.

The FAC also stated that, since its judgment of 11 June 2013, the appellant has not presented any new evidence which would permit the conclusion that the peaceful activities she has performed as part of her role as Ambassador of the Mapuche Permanent Mission to the United Nations would be likely to expose her to targeted persecution upon her return to Chile. In this respect, the evidence of violence against her sister and nephew has no bearing on the matter as it does not concern her directly. The FAC therefore rejects the appeal.

This judgment is final and cannot be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.

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