Over 100 Days on Hunger Strike: Urgent Call for Solidarity with Mapuche Political Prisoners

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Urgent Call for National and International Solidarity in Support of the 107+ Day Mapuche Political Prisoner Hunger Strike

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Since July 7th, 2017, four Mapuche Political Prisoners have maintained a hunger strike that has now lasted upwards of over 107 days. They have been held in pre-trial custody for over a year, under what has been considered an abusive and irregular process under the Anti-Terrorist Law in using anonymous witnesses. Despite the announcements made by the Prosecutor, Luis Torres, in finalizing the investigation seven months ago, bypassing the recent Chilean Independence celebrations, the trial has yet to commence. Family members and support networks have solicited the Chilean government to deal with the prisoners’ situation, recurring to regional authorities – and even to the Ministers of the Interior and Justice, but these have remained evasive and broad in their response. Family and prisoner support networks had given a 72-hour ultimatum, which ended on Wednesday September 20th, 2017, with no response from government officials.

Various protests have taken place nationally and internationally that demand justice for Lonko [Chief] Alfredo Tralcal Coche, and brothers Ariel Alexis Trangol Galindo, Benito Rubén Trangol Galindo, and Pablo Iván Trangol Galindo, imprisoned in the Penitentiary Centre of Temuco. They wait for the word of  Mario Fernandez, Minister of the Interior, to resolve this complex and critical moment, where new lives are at risk,  already surpassing the ultimatum date put forward by family and support networks of the Mapuche Political Prisoners.

In Santiago, [Chile’s capital city], protests took place around the National Stadium this past September 19th. Nvtram ceremonies were also held at Welen Hill (aka Santa Lucia), as well as a mass protest called for the September 20th ultimatum in support of the Mapuche Political Prisoners. Occupations have taken place in the National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI) in Santiago, after a march from the Ministry of the Interior. Protests also took place on September 18th during the State mass commemorating Chilean Independence at the Santiago Cathedral, the military parade, and in the Andes township of Curarrahue, where international roads were blocked. Other protests in the capita city have been called for September 21st at 7PM in the neighbourhood of Peñalolen, and protests are being called throughout the territory for Thursday, including Valparaiso, Temuco and Concepcion.

International acts of solidarity for the Mapuche Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike have also been expressed in the Basque Country, Los Angeles, United Snakes, Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo Norway. Further, there has also been a call for national and international solidarity by the continental network of Social Movements under the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

These calls to action demand that the Chilean government cease the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law, imposed by August Pinochet in 1984, placing their full support behind the legitimate demands of our Mapuche brothers on hunger strike. These include:

  1. A right to due process
  2. Stop the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law
  3. Overturn the pre-trial custody conditions for the Mapuche Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

News in Development

With Files from MapuExpress

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu


Mapuche Communities of Malleco Public Statement in Support of Mapuche Hunger Strikers

September 21st, 2017

The Mapuche communities in resistance of Malleko state the following to national and international opinion:

  1. The Mapuche Communities in resistance of Malleko fully support the hunger strike carried out by the four Mapuche Political Prisoners in the Penitentiary of Temuco. We are extremely concerned for the developing situation, since the government has not wanted to resolve the demands of the hunger strikers. We reiterate that the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law constitutes disproportionate abuse on behalf of the Chilean State against the Mapuche People, especially in the current process of the ongoing “Church” Case.
  2. The Mapuche communities in resistance of Malleko consider that the negative attitude adopted by the Chilean government corresponds to repressive and racist policies, which leaves us no other choice but the increasing intensification of mobilization. The actions by the Ministry of the Interior in this case clearly indicate that the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law is the only tool that allows the prosecution to hold our Mapuche brothers in pre-trail prison. Without this law and without evidential proof, the political and judicial set-up by the Public and Interior Ministries would fall to pieces. We, therefore, implore the government to desist in the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law and guarantee due process to our Mapuche brothers.
  3. The Mapuche communities in resistance of Malleko reiterate that these actions confirm the genocidal colonial policies that the Chilean State has always applied against the Mapuche. If this political protest does not reach the government in turn, there will be no way to achieve peace in the Araucania region.
  4. Lastly, we call on ample support from various Mapuche communities throughout our territories, Mapuche and non-Mapuche organizations that support the hunger strike, to engage in different forms of protest in favour of our Peñi [brothers]. As we have observed, the intention of the current government is to force feed the hunger strikers, which would constitute as a form of torture and an open violation of human rights as stated in the Declaration of Malta, over persons on hunger strike by the World Medical Association in 1991.

Free All Mapuche Political Prisoners!

For a free and sovereign indigenous territory!

Marrichiweu!!!

Mapuche Communities in Resistance of Malleco.

Wallmapu, Temuco

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu


Mapuche Community Wente Winkul Mapu Public Statement in Support of Mapuche Hunger Strikers

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

ERCILLA, WALLMAPU – In reaching two weeks since the imprisonment of our Werken, Daniel Melinao, the Wente Winkul Mapu Community declares the following:

Four Mapuche Political Prisoners detained under the Anti-terrorist law currently being held in the Prison of Temuco [so-called southern Chile] have reached 106 days on hunger strike, with no sign of any response by government officials. While $hile celebrates its Independence Day [September 18th], we have our brothers, who are risking their lives to demand the revocation of the Anti-Terrorist Law on their cases, a law which was implemented under the hand of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and applied by the current government. It has continued to be applied to Mapuche cases despite the false campaign promises of the “Nueva Majoria” coalition government, and condemnation by the international community. The law allows the accused to the be held for two years in pre-trial detention, as well as the use of anonymous witnesses.

Two weeks ago, on Thursday September 8th, 2017, in Temuco, a Mapuche solidarity march was held in support of our brothers on Hunger Strike unto the repressive gaze of government authorities. This march consisted mainly of women and children, as well as some traditional Mapuche authorities. Unto the arrival and repression of the national police, many participants (predominantly women) sought refuge in the Temuco Cathedral. During the dictatorship, a large portion of the Church became a site of refuge and defense of human rights. However, in an impulsive and violent act, the sacristan of the church assaulted an underage teenage girl, as well as Daniel Melinao – a member of our community – who came to her defense. The media later depicted this incident as a “cowardly assault” to the sacristan, when it was he who first used violence against the crowd.

The police later entered the church, with the permission of the Bishop of Temuco, beating and detaining almost 20 people, only four among them men. They included the Werken [Mapuche traditional authority] Daniel Melinao, and Machi [Medicine Healer]  Fidel Tranamil, who both have previously faced the political persecution of the State and that of corporate and private interests in the region.

Daniel Melinao remains in pre-trial custody in Angol prison, once again facing an unjust process. Daniel was arrested for the death of Sergeant Hugo Albornoz and was acquitted twice in 2014. Later, he faced a year in pre-trial custody, and was convicted of obstruction after prosecutors could not prove his involvement in the case. Now he is once again behind bars due to the physical assault of the previously mentioned sacristan.

This once again demonstrates the political and judicial persecution against the traditional authorities of our Mapuche people by the Chilean State, which forces us to receive the scraps of a capitalist system that oppresses our people.

We find it shameful that an institution, such as the Catholic Church, continues to repeat the same crimes they have committed for hundreds of years against indigenous peoples, involving themselves in this media-judicial frenzy this close to the official visit of the Papacy.

We call on conscious actors and the poor of the church to mobilize, since this is nothing other than another declaration of conflict against our people.

Free All Mapuche Political Prisoners!

For the just Demands of our four brothers on Hunger Strike, 107 days on!

Neither prisons not death can silence the struggle for the reclamation and reconstruction of our Mapuche territory and our people!

Amulepe Taiñ Weichan!

Wente Winkul Mapu Community

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

https://wccctoronto.wordpress.com


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