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This week, the conflict between Mapuches and the Chilean government had a new development, when a court authorized officers to force feed the 32 Mapuche political prisoners who are on hunger strike since last month.
In response to this decision, the Mapuche people imprisoned in El Manzano said that they will oppose the measure by all means, even if this means putting their own lives at risk.
“This is a clear political intervention to make us abandon the fair protest we are carrying out”, state the Mapuche prisoners, who were prosecuted by an Anti-Terriorist Law established under the Pinochet dictatorship, for claiming their right to land and their autonomy.
“With this resolution, the Court of Appeals gives way to the possibility of extracting blood samples to the prisoners, which is the ultimate reason of the political intervention. If they manipulate the blood samples, they could prefabricate evidence, and this way, they could frame the prisoners in technical-procedural terms and eventually they could achieve sentences against them”, they said.
In another statement published today by Mapuexpress, the Coordination of Families of the 32 Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike indicated that they were “against the resolution of the Concepción, Temuco and Valdivia courts that authorized officers to force feed our families, which is clearly against their decision to go on hunger strike, and we consider it physical and psychological torture. We also denounce the attitude of the Government to solve the demands of the Mapuche political prisoners without opening the doors to dialogue”.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel wrote a letter to Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, saying that he was surprised that the Anti-Terrorist law was being applied to the Mapuche prisoners, only for demanding their rights.
“I hope, Mr. President, that as you recently took office, you can recognize when a process is not being carried out the way it should be, and that the judicial system can operate in a transparent way, without arbitrariness. People have denounced that this is not the case, and that is why today, the Mapuche prisoners are on a hunger strike, since that is the only option they have to raise awareness and expect a change of attitude”, wrote Perez Esquivel.
The people who support the Mapuche political prisoners are calling a 3rd national and international mobilization to demand their release, to take place on September 1st.
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