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The Mapuche Declaration of London

London, 25-28 January, 1978

Inspired by the long tradition of struggle by our ancestors, firstly against the Spanish coloniser and later, in the early years of the Republic, against new forms of colonialism which combined legalized robbery, with force of arms: and guided by the example of the struggles undertaken by our people in the last few years, particularly during the Popular Unity Government, side by side with the oppressed classes of the country; and with the firm intention of taking up the flag of our brothers who have fallen in the struggle against the military dictatorship which is today oppressing the Chilean people. The Mapuche in exile have met in London to consider the lessons of these long years of struggle to support our brothers who remain in Chile, daily fighting against the dictatorship.

As political refugees we declare before international public opinion:

  1. that the Mapuches, despite the brutal repression they have suffered, killings, torture, imprisonment and exile, and despite the racial and economic discrimination which has grown worse under the dictatorship, have not had their morale broken by their enemies. Our determination to fight is increased and our struggle continues,

  2. we denouce the dictatorship, which today tried to pose as a benefactor to our race, and state that it has carried out imprisonments and torture against whole communites, that it has murdered many of our finest men and women and utterly destroyed what we had won, denying the right to credit and seed, expelling hundreds of Mapuche families from their settlements, abolishing grants for study and student residences and refusing to provide medical attention,

  3. we also draw the attention of our class comrades, of parties and militants on the left, to the fact that the problem of the Mapuche can no longer be considered a secondary question, and that the situation of this nation requires deep scientific study, as a preliminary step towards drawing up a programme which would express the interests and those of the exploited classes. The Mapuche will not subordinate their struggle to proposals which do not express their interests and those of the exploited peasants and the working class,

  4. the Mapuches understand that although our struggle has certain particular characteristics proper to an ethnic minority, it is fundamentally linked to the struggle of all the exploited sectors of Chilean society. We therefore call for unity from the working class, since only through unity can we overcome and destroy the power of the bourgeoisie and of imperialism. Only unity will lead us to victory and definitive freedom from the exploitative structures of a class society.

 Finally, we appeal for solidarity with our Mapuche brothers who are still in Chile suffering poverty, many of them still imprisoned, but still continuing the struggle. We appeal for solidarity with all the Chilean people.

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