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Leonard Peltier: "In the United States, what has not changed are the attempts of governments to end us as an Indian people"

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Leonard Peltier (here in 1986) was sentenced in 1977 to double imprisonment for the murder of two FBI agents in 1975. CLIFF SCHIAPPA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Leonard Peltier, 74, was sentenced on April 18, 1977, to two jail terms for the murder of two FBI agents on June 26, 1975, at a police station. shootings on Pine Ridge Reserve, South Dakota. There was nothing to identify the two agents, who were in plain clothes and driving ordinary vehicles. An activist of the American Indian Movement (AIM), Leonard Peltier has never been involved in the shooting, but he has always denied having executed the two police officers. accusation has never been able to prove his culpability. Of the forty activists present that day, only four have been arrested. Two were tried in a lawful defense and acquitted. Leonard Peltier, who had fled to Canada, was extradited on the basis of the testimony of a woman claiming to be his companion but whom he had never met before. © e. He is the only one to have been sentenced. He also took an extra three years for being evacuated in 1979 from California's Lompoc prison.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Leonard Peltier, the rebel Indian, the oldest political prisoner in the United States

Despite numerous calls for clemency from international personalities, including Pope François, Barack Obama has left the White House without pardoning Leonard Peltier, who suffers from health problems. From the Coleman Federal Prison in Florida, he wrote down our questions. These were forwarded to her by one of the people in her support committee, Paulette Dauteuil, who tries to visit her every week. After forty-three years in detention, Leonard Peltier would like to be moved to a facility closer to his family. His last request was rejected in March. The next review of his parole file is not expected until July 2024. He will be 79 years old.

Your name is French-sounding. Do you have links with France?

Leonard Peltier: My mother is of Dakota ancestry and my father is Chippewa and French Turtle Mountain. My father Peltier and Uncle Ernest Peltier were among the many Indians who fought alongside France during the Second World War. Ernest was a 22-year-old man and my dad was 20. My father Léo survived after being wounded in the legs by the Nazi bullets, unfortunately my uncle Ernest was killed.

"During the second world war, the Amerindians were often put on the front line and they were the first to be killed. Many had French origins, like my father "