MAPUCHE INTERNATIONAL LINK
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After 58 days on hunger-strike
Life of Mapuche Chief in serious danger
Press Release - 3rd October 2007
Chief Juana Calfunao and her sister Luisa of the Juan Pailallef community, Chile , committed to hunger strike on August 7th 2007 in protest at their unjust detention and the injustices suffered by their family and community at the hands of the Chilean authorities and the repressive legislation applied to Mapuche authorities and ancestral land rights protesters. Now entering the 58th day of their protest, official medical reports of 29 th September confirm that their health is rapidly deteriorating they have suffered severe weight loss (approx 13% of their body weight) they are at risk of severe malnutrition, they are conscious yet lethargic, and are now at high risk of cardio respiratory problems and renal failure, decreased immune system function with gastro intestinal complications, in short their lives' are now in serious jeopardy.
Their demands are:
the recognition of their status as political prisoners by the Chilean government, including all Mapuche political prisoners in all prisons and institutions of Chile
to guarantee the physical and psychological wellbeing of all Mapuche political prisoners
to end the mistreatment and harassment of Mapuche prisoners by prison officers
to provide adequate medical attention to sick prisoners, in particular Mr Antonio Cadin who currently requires urgent medical attention
to reinstitute free access visits to imprisoned family members of both the Calfunao and Cadin family relatives
recognition of the status of Mapuche ancestral authorities
Mapuche groups and communities and international human rights organisations express serious concern for the physical and psychological safety of all Mapuche political prisoners to whom status as such, has not been recognised by the Chilean authorities. Subsequently those Mapuche who fight for justice and freedom are classified as common criminals and subject to detention accordingly, endangering their personal safety. Ironically under the former Pinochet dictatorship, social activists including the Mapuches struggle for land rights were classified as political prisoners.
Chief Juana Calfunao remains incarcerated under repressive state law in a Temuco prison in so called 'preventative detention'. Her pre trial indefinite detention which began on 15th Nov 2006 was the result of her protest in defence of community land against both private and state corporations.
The initial detention was made on the charge that Chief Calfunao and her sister had used 'aggression against Chilean police officers on duty' during a police raid on the community on 23rd of December 2005, following a protest by the community against the illicit construction of a road (without the permission of free and informed consent) running through the ancestral community territory. However official judicial records show that in a court hearing immediately following the arrest of Chief Calfunao and her sister the presiding Judge Luz Monica Madariaga ruled the police action on the day in question as unlawful and expressly requested an official investigation of the clearly visible cuts and bruises on the face and body of Chief Calfunao. Regardless of this outcome Chief Calfunao along with her sister were later sentenced to a period of pre trial indefinite detention. To date no disciplinary measures have been implemented against the police officers in question.
Chief Calfunao her sister and husband and two of her sons along with a number of other Mapuche political prisoners are due to appear for sentencing in front of an open tribunal in Temuco on the 22nd October 2007 where they have requested the presence of independent observers from international human rights organisations. They are preparing to expect a sentence of between 10 to 17 years respectively.
Mapuche International Link have again requested the urgent intervention of international human rights organisations in support of Chief Calfunao and her family.
Please contact the following address to express your concern and solidarity:
Misión Permanente de Chile ante las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra, 58, Rue de Moillebeau (4º piso), CH-1209, Ginebra, fax: + 4122.734.52. 97, firstname.lastname@example.org
Misión de Chile ante la Unión Europea, 106 Rue des Aduatiques, 1040 Bruselas, Bélgica, Fax.: +32 (02) 736 49 94, email@example.com
Sra. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Presidenta de la República, Palacio de La Moneda , Santiago, Chile. Fax: (+562) 690 4958, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sra. Paulina Veloso Valenzuela, Ministra Secretaría General de la Presidencia, Palacio de La Moneda, 1160 Entrepiso, Santiago, Chile, fax: + 562. 69.04.329, email@example.com
Sr. Belisario Velasco Barahona, Ministro del Interior, Palacio de la Moneda s/n, Santiago de Chile, fax: (+562) 69 68 740, firstname.lastname@example.org (contacto de prensa)
Sr. Isidro Solís Palma, Ministro de Justicia, Morandé 107, Santiago Casilla 21, Santiago, Chile, fax: (+562) 698 70 98, email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sr. Alejandro Foxley Rioseco, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Catedral 1158, Piso 3, Santiago, Chile, fax: (+562) 696 87 96, firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Don Eduardo Klein Koch, Intendente IX Región La Araucanía, Bulnes 590, piso 2, Temuco, Chile, fax: +56 45 208630 o +56 45 208218, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Tucapel Jiménez F., Presidente Comisión de DDHH, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía de la Cámara de Diputados, email@example.com
Senador Sr. Carlos Ignacio Kuschel Silva, Presidente de las Comisión de DDHH, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía del Senado, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please write also to the diplomatic representative of Chile in your country.
Mapuche International Link
For more information, please visit our website at http://www.mapuche-nation.org