Monday, October 15, 2012

Mapuche call for solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike

Elena Urrutia / LAPress, October 14, 2012

Temuco, Chile. - From the prison in Temuco, Chile, five young Mapuche political prisoners are on hunger strike for fourteen days to ask for an end to judicial harassment against them again, as three of them faced more than two lawsuits as minors. They are Luis Marileo, Leonardo Quijón, Cristian Levinao, Fernando Millacheo and Guido Bahamondes, two of them already prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Chile, one acquitted and another the process. 
These five young men are also requesting that they be transferred to the prison in Angol for Temuco prison is far removed from the communities where their families live, preventing them to visit them, for the cost that the journey to Temuco represents. Despite having repeated this request several times, they have not been willing to listen to them, they are asking for international solidarity that their cases may be attended.  
Additionally, they complained that prison authorities do not allow them to out into the yard, because of their status as Mapuche, which is a clear discrimination against them and a violation of the rights of persons deprived of liberty.

Moreover, in the jail of Angol, another four young Mapuche prisoners are on hunger strike since August 27 and have been hospitalized since Oct. 10, at the Hospital of Concepción. They started the hunger strike to denounce the gross violations of human rights and in protest for their release and the liberation of their territories expropriated by corporations and landowners with agreement of the Chilean state.

With the hunger strike that began on August 27, the political prisoners of the community Wente Winkul Mapu of Lof Chekenco, Paulino Levipan Coyán, Daniel Levinao Montoya, Rodrigo Montoya Melinao and Eric Montoya Montoya, also demanded the immediate demilitarization of the Mapuche territory and the release of all political prisoners of their ethnicity.

The young Mapuche ask the police to stop firing on women and children in their community and to end torture against those who raise their voice against the raids on their territories.

The second Chamber of the Court empowered the Gendarmes to intern, in an emergency, the Mapuche to receive the necessary medical attention, "without prejudice to make use of the other powers conferred upon this Service by its Organic Law and institutional Regulations, in terms of feeding them so as to assure their lives and physical integrities."

The youths have issued various statements to the social networks and alternative media seeking international solidarity. Paulino Levipán and Daniel Levinao were convicted of attempted murder against members of Chile's militarized police and illegal possession of firearms during an alleged incident in November 2011. And Rodrigo and Eric Montoya are waiting for the completion of the trial for "terrorism".

Human rights lawyers have denied in other cases the official version and have provided evidence of how the facts have been manipulated and how the same authorities in collusion with the media have made setups to criminalize the community members.

Mapuche Gabriel V, of 17 years, a prisoner in the jail of Chol Chol was shot by police.

Statement of the young political prisoners to the International community

"We wish to inform the national and international public opinion that:

We salute all our peñis and lamieng(brothers and sisters) who joined us yesterday uniting their rebel yell for justice and freedom to ours. We also welcome the werkén of other communities who came in solidarity with our just demands, and all the people who have continued to support this strike that reaches 49 days of a dignified resistance.

In these 49 days on hunger strike, we have spoken out against the Chilean state for its unfair and repressive ways in which they have treated our people throughout the history of theft and usurpation of their land. We are 4 young men in Angol and 5 in Temuco that are fighting for justice and truth in the court cases, but also in support of the demands for territory and freedom longed for by our people.

Look at us, until recently we played in the middle of the countryside, we helped our parents in their gardens, with the animals... and today we raise our wuiños(bend sticks) with dignity, honoring those who we learned from and who taught us in this long history of resistance of the Mapuche Nation.

Pu Peñi, Pu Lamieng we do not fight only for a fair trial, we fight because we understand that prison is also where we show the courage to believe that we are not wrong in what we long for THE RECOVERY OF THE TERRITORY. From here we encourage and we make our people aware, this is what should unite us and make us walk together.
- not the projects, not the political posts, not the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich. -

We are young people who understand that we can not give up the path marked in history by weichafe kuifi (ancient warriors) and therefore aim to the reconstruction of our nation, a free nation and to move forward in an organized and conscious way. Where our thoughts, attitudes, and the value of the word will be respected. 
We, the young people, have understood the importance of having land... But we aim at something greater that will enable us to continue as Mapuche today, tomorrow and always... THE TERRITORY.  
The yearning of our cona(youths) and weichafe(warriors) who defended their political, economic and cultural autonomy against the invader with their own lives like we do today.

Because we were born Mapuche, and neither persecution, nor imprisonment, nor death will stop our fight for freedom and territory for our Mapuche Nation.

Mapuche political prisoners Wente Winkul Mapu

At the hospital in Concepción

Report on the health status of the strikers

Dr. Sergio Opazo Santander, director of the Regional Hospital, gave the report on Saturday 13 October on the health conditions of the four young Mapuche on hunger strike, which began on September 27. He gave an overview of the accused and said that no major changes have occurred, staying
alert and responsive, neurologically normal, normal vital signs and moving without restriction in the hospital sector.    

The four patients have a intravenous therapy indication and control examinations, which they reject despite having explained to them their metabolic condition.

Rodrigo Montoya Melinao, 19 years

Diagnosis: mild caloric malnutrition.

Glasgow 15 neurologically normal

Heart Rate / Blood Pressure / Temperature: Normal

Start Weight: 65.4 kg

Weight entering Regional Hospital: 53.9 Kilograms

Current weight: 53.200 kg

Body mass index 19.0.

Erik Montoya Montoya, 20 years

Diagnosis: mild caloric malnutrition.

Glasgow 15 neurologically normal

Heart Rate / Blood Pressure / Temperature: Normal

Start Weight: 65.4 kg

Weight entering Regional Hospital: 55.7 KG

Current weight: 54.100

Body mass index 17.6.

Daniel Levinao Montoya, 19 years

Diagnosis: mild caloric malnutrition.

Glasgow 15 neurologically normal

Heart Rate / Blood Pressure / Temperature: Normal

Start Weight: 63.7 kg

Weight entering Regional Hospital: 50.8 Kilograms

Current weight: 49.700 kg

Body mass index 17.4.

Paulino Levipan Coyan, 24 years

Diagnosis: 47 days on hunger strike. In malnourished limit.

Glasgow 15 neurologically normal

Heart Rate / Blood Pressure / Temperature: Normal

Start Weight: 67.8 kg

Weight entering Regional Hospital: 55.1 Kilograms

Current weight: 55,200 Kilos

Body mass index 18.6


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