Another Mapuche hunger strike in Chilean Araucanía

Santiago de Chile, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina) The situation of the Mapuche prisoners in jails in the Chilean Araucanía woke up today with a new ingredient, after five indigenous started a hunger strike at Temuco prision. In a statement, the accused, identified as political prisoners, announced that the strike began yesterday, as result of the lack of response of Gendarmerie of Chile after they demanded their rights. Leonardo Quijon, Luís Marileo, Fernando Millacheo, Guido Bahamondes, and Cristian Levinao, reported that they adopted the measure due to the conspiracy of the “State, the employers and landlords, who managed laws against us to keep us away from our families and loved ones”.

The prisoners demand their transfer to the prison of Angol, for being the place of confinement closer to their homes as well as to put an end to the “humiliating and degrading raids by Chilean Gendarmerie to families and friends, who visit them in prison.

The statement notes that imprisonment “is because of political reasons and not crimes as the rest of the inmates of these prisons centers”. In the text, the strikers insist they are being held due to the struggle carried out by Mapuche communities for the recovery of territories considered ancestral, which “have been seized and exploited by the country’s richest businessmen”. The prisoners of Temuko also expressed their solidarity with the four Mapuche who remain on hunger strike for 37 days in the prison of Angol and demand an immediate response from the authorities to those “who risk their lives as a result of arbitrary and unclear processes”. From Angol, Erick Montoya, Rodrigo Montoya, Paulino Levipan and Daniel Levinao demand that the Supreme Court review the sentences.

The last two were sentenced last August to 10 years and one day in prison for the crime of attempted murder the police in acts of service and 541 days in prison for illegal possession of firearm. In addition to the review of their cases by the Supreme Court and the reversal of the convictions, with their hunger strike defendants claim to stop the protected witnesses and to put an end to the political-judicial mounts against the strikers.

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