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The murder of environmentalist Javiera Rojas, beaten and tortured in an abandoned house, shakes Chile

Posted: Dec 3, 2021 14:22 GMT

There are two individuals charged with femicide and aggravated homicide.

Environmentalist Javiera Rojas, 43, was found dead last Sunday in an abandoned house located in the city of Calama, Antofagasta Region, in northern Chile. Her body had several wounds and, according to El Mostrador, he was tied hand and foot.

This news quickly spread in the South American country and caused outrage. Rojas had a track record in defending the environment and among his most outstanding actions stands out his opposition to the construction of the La Tranca reservoir in 2018, within the town of El Durazno, in the Cogotí valley, Coquimbo region. At that time, he presided over the Valle de El Durazno Ecological Group.

After the crime was made known, the Movement for Water and Territories (MAT) communicated: “The confusing context described so far, it does not allow us to affirm until now that it is due to its capacity as defender, however, we can assure that it is framed within the gender violence that violates women every day. ”

Investigation begins

The Calama Local Prosecutor’s Office reported this Thursday that the investigation against two individuals was formalized, whose identity is protected at the request of the authorities: “JPDB”, charged with femicide, and “MLS”, with charges of qualified homicide. Both are in prison on a preventive basis, “because they are considered a danger to the security of society.”

Citing the prosecutor Cristián Aliaga, La Tercera published that the first of them, 29 years old, would be the cohabiting of the victim, while the second, 23, would be a foreign citizen with a less close bond. The precautionary measure will be carried out at the Calama Prison Compliance Center, because one of them has covid-19 and the other is his close contact, so they cannot be transferred.

The judicial official also pointed out that the building of the events was in “ruins”, being a scene that registered many raids for drug issues.

“Treachery and cruelty”

In its official text, the Public Ministry stated that the murder was committed on 27th of November. From the day before, the accused had committed all kinds of torture: “At the scene, the victim and the accused had an argument over apparent money issues, who later they tied her hands and feet, and subsequently, they beat her repeatedly on the skull and body, giving her various stabs in their lower extremities. ”

According to the researchers, the woman died in that same place, and was found the next day, since one of those involved would have revealed the matter to a neighbor.

Among its preliminary conclusions, the Prosecutor’s Office highlighted “the treachery and cruelty with which both defendants committed this violent crime.” Likewise, the Guarantee Court established a period of 200 days to investigate the case, which also has the participation of the Calama Investigative Police (PDI).


Left-wing presidential candidate Gabriel Boric Font said that “this crime cannot go unpunished”. The current deputy related the femicide of Rojas to his status as an activist, and asked “to protect environmental defenders from the State, acting to prevent intimidation, harassment and attacks on those who fight for the environment.”

The country in Latin America where it is most lethal to be an environmental defender (and the role of industries in such violence)

Before, the constituent Bárbara Sepúlveda Hales had expressed: “In Chile it is extremely dangerous to protect the environmentIn full democracy, environmental activists are persecuted, harassed, harassed and murdered. “

“In Chile today it is more dangerous to defend natural resources than to loot them,” criticized the mayor of the Recoleta commune, Daniel Jadue. And the communist deputy Camila Vallejo Dowling added: “She was fighting against the Prime thermoelectric plant and the La tranca reservoir; it cannot be that another activist loses her life and remains in impunity.”

For the moment, prosecutors have not stated that there is a link between the crime and Rojas’ environmental career. However, the inquiry is just beginning.

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About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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