On Tuesday afternoon, May 24th, after 70 days of hunger striking, Ramón Llanquileo was hospitalized due to complications from his fasting. Llanquileo was taken to a hospital in Los Ángeles for observation and treatment. He had briefly been taken to the hospital last week for heart problems, but was relatively quickly returned to the prison. According to Natividad Llanquileo, who speaks for the prisoners, Llanquileo and the other three strikes are in stable condition although they continue to weaken.
Chile’s Minister of Health, Jaime Mañalich, also spoke about the hunger strikers on Tuesday, indicating that he is “extremely concerned” about the health of the four individuals. He stated that the strikers are in “a precarious condition” in terms of their health due to the fasting. He further indicated that his department has been working closely with the prison to monitor the health of the individuals and to remain prepared to act in case of emergency.
The four Mapuche individuals began their strike in March after each being sentenced to over 20 years in prison on attempted murder charge. They are appealing that verdict on grounds of procedural irregularities — most notably, the use of “faceless witnesses” who testified against them. Their appeal has been heard by the Chilean Supreme Court although the decision on whether the convictions will be overturned or not will not be announced until June 3rd.