he first jury roll was drawn on August 7th, 2019 in the province of Chaco, Argentina. Minutes after, the first workshop between the local Government, the Judicial Branch and the Indigenous Peoples dealing with the implementation of Indigenous juries in Chaco took place.

Chaco has the only jury law in the country which explicitly guarantees both gender equality, and also provides for a special jury of Indigenous peoples when the victim and the accused belong to those communities. In those cases, six of the twelve jurors must be Qom, Wichí or Moqoit, the three main Indigenous Nations from Chaco.

Several people arrived for today’s draw and workshop from places as far away as the Impenetrable Forest – some left their homes as early as 3:00 am in order to hitchhike the 300 or so kilometers. 

Trial by jury is an ancient form of justice which requires that a group of twelve neighbors must decide two questions unanimously: 1) if the facts of the case really happened, and 2) if the person accused of having committed those facts is guilty or not guilty of the crime charged.

These neighbors must be citizens; a roll is drawn annually from the voting lists. From the roll, a list of 40 men and women will be drawn for each trial.


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