We are immensely pleased to tell you that,at long last, we have some good news about Qa'tu (also known as José Fabián Ruiz): he has at last been released from prison. He had entered a marriage according to Wichí custom (a right protected by Argentine law). When his wife, Estela was about to give birth, she was forcibly removed to hospital and he was charged with rape, as she was deemed underage. For this he was held without trial from June 2005, a period far exceeding the two-year limit set by Argentine law for remand.
There is still some confusion about his status; at the moment, he is required to report weekly to the police. Efforts will continue to clear his name and to make his freedom unconditional.
Meanwhile we would like to thank all those who wrote pressing for his release, which undoubtedly helped to achieve this. It is a tribute also to the indefatigable legal team working for Chacolinks – Dr John Palmer, América Alemán and Sarah Esper.The communities of ‘Our Forest’ are overjoyed with this good news, and we send them all our good wishes.