International Solidarity Action with Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike

International Solidarity Action with Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike - [field_topic-terms]

The International Humanist Party carried out a day of international solidarity with the Mapuche political prisoners in hunger strike in Chile, condemning the violations that the State of Chile has carried out against the Mapuche and demanding the current government the immediate release of all the Mapuche political prisoners and the abolition of the illegitimate antiterrorist law.

The day was marked by the visit to the penitentiary El Manzano of the Latin American humanist leader, Tomás Hirsch, and the president of the Humanist Party of Chile - Danilo Monteverde . They visited Héctor Llaitul, Mapuche comunero (communal land owner) and leader of the Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco.At the exit of the penitentiary El Manzano, Tomás Hirsch pointed out that “Héctor (Llaitul) is very lucid, very strong and willing to give continuity to this movement with a look not just of political rebelliousness, but cultural, ancestral and spiritual as well”. On the other hand, Danilo Monteverde affirmed, it is not possible that the current administration continues turning a deaf ear to these demands of the Mapuche political prisoners and it is revolting to listen to the leaders of the Concertación (alliance of centre and social democrat parties ruling since 1990 – TN) as if nothing had happened along the years of their administration, in which the Mapuche people was also pursued and repressed.”

Simultaneously to this visit, in around 20 countries of Europe, Asia and Latin America, representatives of the Humanist Party, accompanied by other organisations, handed in a letter in the Chilean embassies and consulates. In this letter it is highlighted that “These violations and abuses against the Mapuche not only affect Chile but the whole international community, and for that reason, it is incomprehensible that successive administrations have failed to take heed of the numerous recommendations made by various United Nations envoys and observers.” The letter concludes demanding the immediate release of the Mapuche political prisoners and the responsibility of Piñera´s administration to avoid a fatal outcome in this hunger strike. This letter was delivered in the Chilean embassies and consulates in Spain, France, Belgium, Iceland, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Argentina, among other countries.

International Humanist Party

Complete text of the letter delivered to the Chilean Embassies and Consulates).

Dear Mr. Ambassador: We, the undersigned are here to express to the Chilean Government, through you, our total rejection and condemnation of the multiple abuses that the Chilean State has been committing against the Mapuche Nation.

These violations and abuses against the Mapuche not only affect Chile but the whole international community, and for that reason, it is incomprehensible that successive administrations have failed to take heed of the numerous recommendations made by various United Nations envoys and observers.

Already during 2003 the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, noted in his report that “The enforcement of anti-terrorism laws by the Chilean State against some leaders of the Mapuche ethnic group violates their cultural, economic and human rights.”

In 2007, the United Nations Children's Rights Committee confirmed instances of police brutality where the victims were indigenous children, and it urged the Chilean government to put an end to such situations through preventive and corrective measures.

Subsequently in 2009, Gary Stahl, UNICEF representative in Chile, made a call to "stop the violence involving Mapuche children.”

More recently, the new UN rapporteur, James Anaya, indicated among many other recommendations, that various Chilean laws "promote the appropriation by private companies of water, mineral resources and geothermal sources, with negative effects on the use or value of traditional lands of indigenous groups such as the Aymara, the Quechua, the Atacameño or Lickanantay, the Mapuche, Colla and Diaguita."

Notwithstanding the recommendations of international organisms, we see that Araucanía is still militarized; that legitimate Mapuche mobilizations are judicialized through the Anti-terrorism Law enacted by a dictatorship that not only shames Chile but the whole world; that Mapuche political prisoners are not subjected to due process but faceless witnesses are used, or that many of them must face both the Civilian and the Military justice; and that Mapuche children are being subjected to violence by the Chilean government’s police forces. We also see how the shadow of torture appears once again in your prisons staining of shame the responsible authorities.

For all the above, we come to demand the immediate release of all Mapuche political prisoners and urgently adopt the multiple recommendations that international organizations have made to the Chilean State.

Currently there are 34 Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike, including children and youth, their life is in danger and preventing their death is at the Chilean government’s hands.

For Life and Peace, no more political imprisonment, police set ups or torture for the Mapuche in Chile.

Expecting you to inform your government immediately about this demand, and about the upcoming civil disobedience and non-violent mobilization throughout the world, we conclude.

Kind regards,

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