Chile: Mapuche hunger strike continues

On Nov. 29 five Mapuche rights activists were in the 51st day of a hunger strike at the Angol prison in Chile’s Region IX. Each of the hunger strikersā€”Mapuches Jaime Marileo Saravia, Juan Millalen Milla, Hector Llaitul Carrillanca and Jose Huenchunao and non-Mapuche Patricia Troncoso Robleā€”has lost more than 15 kilos. The five prisoners have been on hunger strike since Oct. 10 to demand the release of more than 20 indigenous Mapuche activists they consider political prisoners; an end to the militarization of the traditional Mapuche territories; and an end to repression against Mapuche activists.

On Nov. 21, agents from the militarized Carabineros police attacked a peaceful march in Santiago in support of the Mapuche prisoners on hunger strike. Police arrested 17 women, 15 men and two minors. The same day, Nov. 21, six other Mapuche activistsā€”five of them women–began an open-ended hunger strike at the cathedral in the community of Canete, in Arauco province, Region VII, in support of the five prisoners. On Nov. 28, retired judge Juan Guzman met with Interior Minister Belisario Velasco to seek the government’s urgent intervention on behalf of the five Mapuche prisoners, who are serving harsh sentences under an “anti-terrorism” law passed under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1973-1990). (, Nov. 29; Communique from Canete Hunger Strikers, Nov. 28; Programa Radial Mapuche Wixage Anai, Nov. 22; all via Red Solidaria por los Derechos Humanos-REDH)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 2

See our last post on Chile and the Mapuche struggle.