Mar 17, 2011

Mapuche: Four Political Prisoners Resume Hunger Strike

Mapuche political activists protest against being held under a post Pinochet anti-terrorist law, which allows for convictions based on secret witness statements and unsubstantiated evidence.


Below is an article published by The Citizen:


The four Mapuche political prisoners, members of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM): José Huenuche Reiman, Hector Llaitul Carrillanca, Jonathan Mendez and Ramon Llanquileo Huillical Pilquimán, who are in Lebu Jail, today [15 March 2011] sent a statement to the Mapuche Nation and to inform international public opinion announcing their reasons for resuming their hunger strike on Tuesday 15 March 2011.


The political prisoners argued that "The extensive investigative and judicial process that is being applied against 13 of our brothers, under the Terrorism Act, which has resulted in a conviction of four CAM political activists is widely known."


On the other hand they argue that "the Cañete Tribunal has arrived at their conviction based solely on secret witness statements and hearsay, ie, without due process, maintaining that these standards remain unacceptable anywhere else in the world."


The accused complain that they have not been subject to due process and have remained in jail for a substantial period awaiting trial, for this and other reasons they have decided to "initiate a liquid hunger strike indefinitely until their demands are achieved."


Their demands are as follows:


1. Due process and fair trial.

2. No use of secret witnesses and law enforcement anti terrorism laws.

3. Oral mistrial.

4. Be tried by a competent and impartial tribunal.

5. An end to double jeopardy in civil justice, as they continue to be processed by the Military Justice.

6. Transfer to the Angol prison and decent prison conditions.


The UNPO will be convening a conference examining the current situation of Mapuche in Latin America on 24 March 2011.  For more information, click here