Filed under: International Coverage
Mapuche political prisoners in the city of Angol are denouncing the Chilean Gendarmerie for obstructing their cultural ceremonies inside the prison. What follows is a translation of their statement, with added links and some [bracketed translations] for Mapuche terminology.
There’s been a long history of Mapuche political prisoner resistance in Angol. This communique from 2020 documents a 123-day hunger strike that called attention to the unreconcilable contradictions between the Chilean prison system and the social, political, and cultural practices of the Mapuche people.
For those interested in more context on the struggles of the Mapuche, our coverage is collated here.
- The racist and discriminatory behavior on part of the Chilean Gendarmerie, through the Warden Rafael Rojas Cid, Substitute Luis Povea, and the Regional Director Diter Villarroel Montecinos. They have not had the capacity nor the will to resolve or respond to our demands planted more than a month ago related to the daily exercise of our cosmovision and culture.
We are demanding the capacity to perform our spiritual ceremony called llellipun or guillaimawun at the hour demanded by our Mapuche existence (kimün ka Rakizuam)[knowledge and learning]. It is worth mentioning that our demands fit within our legitimate rights recognized by different international treaties ratified by the Chilean state. For our part, on countless occasions we have demonstrated our capacity for dialogue, to which the Chilean Gendarmerie have given their word of respect and recognition of our culture. However, nothing has changed. This unjustified type of negligent attitude only demonstrates ignorant, racist, and discriminatory behavior. In consequence, we have been forced to discontinue practicing our spirituality due to the insulting schedule, which is contrary to our cosmovision.
- Given the information above, we make it known to the public that with more than a month without a solution, and facing this cultural and spiritual negation, we are in spiritual, emotional, and psychological distress. This behavior by the Gendarmerie goes beyond its legal functions, applying punishment contrary to the rights we have as Mapuches.
It is worth remembering that in 2020, various weichafe Mapuche political prisoners carried out a hunger strike demanding the application of convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, and demanding the fulfillment of different dispositions that establish that justice be applied in accordance with the cultural, economic, and social characteristics of Indigenous people.
- We make it clear that if we do not have a favorable response, we will intensify our position inside this prison. We do not rule out mobilizations by our people to continue the struggle for our cultural and spiritual rights. It should be noted that for the moment, we have begun to refuse prison food, as a measure we are willing to further develop or sharpen, to ensure our right to practice our spirituality
- We make a widespread call to the Mapuche communities in resistance, social organizations, and sympathetic conscious individuals to be attentive to what happens next here and to raise your voices in demand of respect for the Mapuche cosmovision and spirituality inside the prisons.
Mülele weichan, muleay weichafe malaltukugealu…
Mülenule pu kona malalltukugelu, fei chi antü ñamai ta taiñ weichan…
While there exists struggle, there will be imprisoned warriors…
If the imprisoned are not strong, that day our struggle will disappear…
Wallmapu: Angol Prison, January 21, 2022