Filed under: International Coverage
The following is a communique from Mapuche political prisoners José Tralcal Coche and Luis Tralcal Quidel, who are currently imprisoned in CET Victoria (CET stands for “Center for Work and Education,” a Chilean government euphemism for prison).
On June 11, 2018, José and Luis were sentenced to 18 years in prison for the notorious Luchsinger-Mackay case, where a latifundista couple was killed in an incendiary attack on their home in Vilcún, Wallmapu. The attack took place on the five-year anniversary of the killing of the young Mapuche Matias Catrileo, who was gunned down by police during an attempted land recuperation in the same region.
Following the deaths of the latifundistas, the state carried out an extensive search seeking to find the culprits and prove they were Mapuche, a process that included extracting testimony via torture. This resulted in the detention and eventual sentencing of the two Tralcals, whose legal cases have been filled with irregularities and inconsistencies. José and Luis Tralcal have continually maintained their innocence.
From political imprisonment in Wallmapu, we send our greetings to our Mapuche people-nation, our traditional authorities, Pu Peñi, Pu Lamnien, the Chilean people, and the different people in struggle against capital and the plunder of Itrofilmongen [the natural world].
Today, March 1, 2022, we begin a hunger strike as the only tool of political struggle that we can engage from inside prison. As political prisoners of the Lof Lleupeko, sector Wenteche, José Tralcal Coche and Luis Tralcal Quidel, we declare the following:
- In spite of the eighteen years of political imprisonment we face for the Luchsinger-Mackay attack, we have assumed this sentence in retaliation for carrying out processes of territorial recuperation in our sector, having been condemned for a “declaration obtained beneath torture from a false witness.”
- In spite of complying with the gendarmerie’s internal regulations to be able to apply for the benefit of Sunday, sporadic, trimestral, and conditional release, the institution has put a series of obstacles preventing us from obtaining such benefits. Our request was filed in August of 2021, without a response to this date. For more than six months gendarmerie have not carried out their technical commission to evaluate our request.
- The supervisory court in preliminary proceedings has given three orders to gendarmerie to carry out this commission.
- We denounce the servile commitment toward economic and political power of the arrogant Yanacona warden, Waldo Marileo Aedo, and the social worker, Ángela Bascur, who on repeated occasions pressured us to declare ourselves guilty in order to prevent our case from being reviewed in the Interamerican Court, having been admitted to that court for the irregularities in our original conviction.
This decision has been taken together with our families and our Lof [community]. We claim the hunger strike as a legitimate tool of struggle from political imprisonment, in order to achieve our longed-for freedom. At once, we demand:
- Sunday, trimestral, and sporadic release
- Conditional freedom without the necessity for us to plead guilty to an act that we haven’t committed
Greetings to all the communities in struggle and resistance!
Free the Mapuche political prisoners!
Free the political prisoners of the Chilean revolt!
Free commander Ramiro!
For the recuperation of our territory!
Out with the capitalist and latifundista power in Wallmapu!
Pu Mapuche choi tañy neikuleal, Mapu ka Ko reke, chumechy rume neikuleain mutem…..
As Mapuche we were born free, like the land and water, freedom does not have a price…
José Tralcal Coche and Luis Tralcal Quidel