January 1, 2010
The 38-year-old Basque is under arrest in the southern Chilean city of Temuco for his alleged connection to an unsuccessful bombing at the Justice Ministry for the La Araucanía region on Thursday.
A court of public safety in the southern Chilean city of Temuco ordered pretrial detention today for a 38-year-old Basque arrested on Thursday for his alleged connection to an unsuccessful bombing at the Justice Ministry for the La Araucanía region.
Court sources indicate that the resolution was adopted during a detention hearing in which Judge Omar Mérida invoked the Antiterrorist Law in order to keep the suspect in custody.
According to sources, the Basque’s pretrial detention will last until at least January 6.
The accused, Asel Luzarraga, is a novelist and the lead singer of an anarchist punk band. He was arrested during a raid of his home, and police sources say he has lived in Chile since March 2009.
The Basque is suspect number one in the unsuccessful bombing by unknown perpetrators of the Justice Ministry building located at the corner of Calle Bilbao and Calle Vicuña Mackenna on Ñelol hill in Temuco. Prosecutor Sergio Moya is investigating the incident, along with at least four other bombings that have occurred in the region during the course of the year.
Luzarraga, who goes by the pseudonym “Aselluza,” was arrested in his home in the Pulmahue de Padre Las Casas neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, after Carabineros presented him with a search warrant from the Court of Public Safety.
In the suspect’s home, Carabineros also found an empty fire extinguisher, fuses, and powder for the construction of homemade explosive devices similar to the one found on Thursday morning in the front garden of the Justice Ministry. The same parts were used in a similar device that exploded two weeks ago at an Ahumada pharmacy branch located in a residential area between Avenida Alemania and Avenida San Martín in the regional capital.
Also, in December of last year, a bomb made out of the same materials damaged the door and windows of the Public Prison Advocate’s building.
Luzarraga has degrees in business studies and Basque philosophy, and he has published four novels in Euskara: “The Convex Mirrors,” “Karonte,” “The Charm of Disguise,” and “The Honeycomb.”
For several years, he worked as a high school teacher in his country. He was a member of the board of directors of the Basque Writers’ Association. Outside his literary activity, he was the lead singer for the band Punkamine, and he spread anarchist ideas through his articles and his blog.
Luzarraga had recently participated in protests demanding the release of Mapuche activist Juana Calfunao, who was sentenced and is facing other charges for property occupations and attacks on the authorities. In November 2007, Calfunao struck, spat, and cursed at two prosecutors during her hearing on charges of public disorder. In 1998, she headbutted Rodrigo González, the former head of CONADI (National Indigenous Development Corporation).