Today, Monday October 29, 2012, representing the Dutch organization Maricheweu International, representing the Mapuche, Chileans and Latin Americans living in the Netherlands, together with the Dutch people and also representing the organizations that are collecting signatures to protest the state violence against Mapuche communities in Chile, I went to deliver letters formalizing a protest against all the events occurring in Mapuche territory, to the Ambassador of Chile in Holland, expressing our total rejection of all acts of violence, racism and of non-compliance with national and international laws committed by the Chilean state against the Mapuche people and their just demands.
He was received kindly by the first secretary of the Ambassador Mr. Edgard Eckholt and Ambassador Mr. Juan Antonio Martabit Scaff. We talked for almost an hour. I handed him the letters and expressed the deep concern and indignation of many people for the situation suffered by the Mapuche people by the acts of a government of a country that claims to be a democracy and has signed and ratified international treaties such as the Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We talked about the change in feeling and thinking of Chilean society in the last 20 years with respect to indigenous peoples and the way the government treats them. He told me of the various projects to protect and promote native cultures. I replied that it is great that there is this change in Chilean society but that all these projects give no answer to the demands of the communities and that the only dialog of the government with the communities in resistance consists of bullets and tear gas and repression and judicial setups.
I emphasized that the government must open a dialog with the communities and really listen to the demands and wishes of the people. That they are the only ones who know what they really want and need and they have that very clear. That the first step for that is the demilitarization of the area and an end to the raids and violence against the communities.
Again and again I returned to the issue of violence against the children, the women and the elderly and the terrible damage caused by the violence of the state, as much material, physical and psychological. I demanded that the state must accept responsibility for these very serious damages and make an effort to compensate and that it has to bear all the expenses of the healing of the wounded. In particular I drew his attention to the case of the young Leonardo Quijón who since 2009 suffers from the almost 200 pellets that until now remain in his leg after being shot by police. He is also one of the five Mapuche political prisoners who were recently on a hunger strike in Temuco for 23 days, including five days of a dry strike, bringing them to the brink of death itself, to simply get their legitimate right to be transferred to the prison in Angol, being the prison closest to their families.
The ambassador assured me that he will communicate all that we have talked about to the government of Chile and that he will send the letters to the designated persons. He also promised that he will find out everything about the case of Leonardo and that he will report on the outcome, although purely for humanitarian reasons ...