Tag Archives: Hunger Strike

Supreme Court Reverses Two Mapuche Convictions; Hunger Strike Ends After 60 Days

On Wednesday, October 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court unanimously overturned the convictions of two Mapuche men who had been charged with the attempted murder of Chilean police officers. The convictions were overturned on the grounds that evidence was lacking at the lower court level to prove attempted murder. Although the two men were not completely absolved of all crimes, the ruling was well-received and, on Thursday, the men called an end to their hunger strike that had been in progress for 60 days. Continue reading

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Piñera Visits Ercilla, Calls Mapuche Hunger Strike “Illegitimate”

On Tuesday, October 16th, President Piñera visited Ercilla and, more generally, the Araucanía Region of Chile. His visit was met with much protest even before his arrival, when Mapuche leaders told the press that Piñera “would not be welcomed” in the region. Despite these statements, Piñera arrived with a heavy police contingent and gave a speech denouncing Mapuche violence and calling the current Mapuche hunger strike “illegitimate and ineffective”. As expected, the Chilean President was met with many protests and his speech was interrupted at times by them. By the end of the day, at least eight Mapuche individuals had been arrested. Continue reading

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Mapuche Hunger Strikers Reach Day 40; Attorneys Argue in Front of Supreme Court

On Thursday, October 4th, attorneys for four Mapuche prisoners who were sentenced for a variety of alleged crimes, including attempted murder of police officers, went before the criminal chamber of the Chilean Supreme Court. The attorneys argued for a mistrial and dismissal of the convictions based on a lack of evidence. Additionally, arguments were made to apply the American Convention on Civil Rights and the International Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous Peoples to the prisoners’ prison conditions, which could allow them additional prison privileges. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision with respect to these issues on October 24, 2012. Continue reading

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UN High Commissioner Denies Involvement in Ending the Mapuche Hunger Strike

Late on Thursday, June 9th, the Mapuche prisoners who had been on hunger strike for 87 days ended their strike and simultaneously announced the creation of the Commission on the Rights of the Mapuche People. Several non-Mapuche reportedly signed the document that discussed the creation of that Commission, including the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights — Amerigo Incalcaterra. On Friday, June 10th, Amerigo Incalcaterra released a statement clarifying that he did not participate in ending the hunger strike nor did he sign the public statements released by the hunger strikers on June 9th. Continue reading

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Mapuche End Hunger Strike of 87 Days; Form Commission

Late on Thursday, June 9th, the four Mapuche prisoners who had been on a hunger strike for 87 days made the decision to end their strike. They began the strike in March to protest alleged due process violations in the trial against them. Last Friday, June 3rd, the Supreme Court rejected the Mapuche individuals’ arguments. Yesterday the end of the hunger strike coincided with the formation of a Commission on the Rights of the Mapuche People, which includes both Mapuche and non-Mapuche individuals who will work together to ensure the protection and realization of rights for the Mapuche people. Continue reading

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Mapuche Prisoners Sent to Different Hospitals; Unnecessary Force Alleged

On Wednesday, June 8th, the Chilean Government separated the four Mapuche prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for 86 days, and sent them to separate hospitals. Natividad Llanquileo, the spokesperson for the prisoners, alleged that the relocations were “violent” and that at least one of the prisoners was “beaten, handcuffed, and sedated.” Meanwhile, the latest medical reports show that the Mapuche individuals’ health continues to deteriorate and that some irreversible damage to their bodies has already occurred. Continue reading

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To Support Mapuche Prisoners, Families Join Hunger Strike

On Sunday, June 5th, family members of the four Mapuche prisoners whose case was decided by the Supreme Court last Friday (June 3rd) announced that they would hold their own hunger strike to show their support for the prisoners as well as their dissatisfaction with the Court’s decision. According to Millaray Garrido, a spokesperson for the community members, the hunger strike will begin today, June 6th, and will be located in an encampment set-up outside Victoria Hospital. The families called on others to show their support and for the Chilean Government to take steps to find a solution to the problem. Continue reading

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Mapuche Continue Strike, Protestors Arrested, and Government Responds to Court Decision

On Friday, June 3rd, the Chilean Supreme Court announced that it was partially annulling the sentences of four Mapuche individuals who were originally convicted of attempted murder and armed robbery. The individuals – in protest of the alleged violation of their rights – had been on a hunger strike for more than 80 days at the time the decision was announced. In the hours that followed, responses to the Court’s decision came from many people and took many forms. Continue reading

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Chilean Supreme Court Partially Annuls Sentences of Mapuche Hunger Strikers

The Chilean Supreme Court announced today (June 3rd) that it was annulling, in part, the sentences of four Mapuche individuals who, in February, were convicted of attempted murder and assault. The individuals immediately appealed that conviction on the grounds of due process violations and simultaneously began a hunger strike that has continued for more than 80 days. Originally, the four were sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in prison (for the two crimes), but today the Supreme Court reduced the total sentence to between 8 and 14 years in prison, depending on the individual. According to a spokesperson for the prisoners, the Mapuche will continue their hunger strike. Continue reading

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Church Offers Assistance in Ending Mapuche Hunger Strike

Over the weekend, two prominent members of the Catholic Church in Chile made statements and offered assistance with respect to the current Mapuche hunger strike, which started more than 75 days ago. The Church officials called on all branches of the Chilean Government to find a way to end the strike. Meanwhile, the condition of the Mapuche hunger strikers seems to be worsening according to the latest doctor reports. Continue reading

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