Filed under: International Coverage
On January 29, 2020 in so-called Chile, police violently raided five houses in the Valley of Elicura, in the Lavkenche territory of Wallmapu, detaining six Indigenous Mapuches. Another Mapuche was detained almost a year later and linked to the same case. The seven have been charged with a death at Playa Blanca, in the Mapuche territory of Lake Lanalhue, land usurped by the forestry businessman Hector Garcia.
The seven Mapuche political prisoners from Elicura are part of a larger Mapuche movement resisting forestry companies, hydroelectric projects, and large landholders in defense of their ancestral territories. Direct-action land recuperations and the reconstruction of Mapuche ways of living on their recuperated territories have been pivotal to this resistance.
The legal case of the seven Mapuche political prisoners has been filled with irregularities. The only witnesses presented by the state have been protected, their testimonies have been contradictory, and no connection has been established between the accused and the crime. In 2020, six of the seven Mapuche political prisoners from Elicura participated in a hunger strike alongside other Mapuche prisoners in the Lebu prison that lasted 66 days.
Below is a recent communique from the Mapuche political prisoners of Elicura. They are currently locked up in Lebu prison, awaiting a verdict in their trial now that the state’s legal process has concluded.
Mari Mari pu lonko, pu machi, pu werken, pu peñi, pu lamuen, pu pichikeche, pu weche, pu weichabe.
Affectionate greetings to all the expressions of struggle and resistance in the different Lov, social organizations, and civil society who are conscious of the just demand of the Mapuche people.
Kiñe: As Elicurache Mapuche political prisoners (PPM) we want to make it known that our judicial process has come to an end—a process grounded in injustice and filled with racism. Throughout this process, we have seen how the set-up orchestrated against us by the Prosecutor’s Office and the PDI is coming to light and collapsing. This has happened through false arguments which they have presented in the hearings, the clear lack of seriousness in which they are taking the investigation, and the many irregularities upon which our imprisonment is based.
Epu: As prisoners of Elicura and of the Lov Elicura, we are aware of our struggle that is taking place in our territory. We see the advancement of the devastation of our waters, something which greatly concerns our Itrobill mongen. We see how the military is being mobilized to protect the forestry companies. With what we see, we are aware of the future that awaits us. We know that the struggle will not stop in Mapuche territory, so we reaffirm our struggle that we maintain as territory Elicurache.
Küla: We want to thank our people who have accompanied us since day one and throughout our judicial process which now is coming to an end.
We want to thank the pu weichabe of lankenche territory, the lamuen that have been outside the courts enduring the racism of the state, showing rage against the police system, but providing us with newen. We thank them with all our piwke and we also send our greetings to the pichikeche who have for hours been outside the courthouse, to the peñis and werken who are supporting us during our judicial process.
Newentuleymun pu che.
Meli: We see clearly how the racism of the Chilean justice system functions. We are victims of this racism in a trial that has maintained us imprisoned for 22 months based on an alleged suspicion, without evidence, and without having carried out an investigation in good faith.
We see clearly that the justice system is obeying the government which has accused us from day one, kidnapping us without evidence.
The state prematurely declared us guilty and now we see daily how their set-up is collapsing. If a conviction is handed down, it will be a political conviction. It will be persecution.
We call on everyone to be attentive to the verdict that will come in the following days.
Kechu: We make a call out for the defense and protection of our sacred places and our Mapuche territory.
We are not the Indigenous of Chile. We are Mapuche. People who are alive, advancing to reconstruct their culture and society.
To reconstruct a territory that was deceptively taken by the Chilean state, which didn’t respect its own signed treaties. Now we see the obligation to rebuild on the basis of our legitimate right, our people…
Freedom to the peñi Victor Llanquileo
Freedom to the Mapuche Political Prisoners of Lebu
Freedom to the Mapuche Political Prisoners of Angol
Freedom to the Mapuche Political Prisoners of Temuco
— Newenteleymun pu weichabe imprisoned by the state