3 of 4 Mapuche Political Prisoners End 116 Day Hunger Strike – ARIEL TRAGOL continues fast
Oct 2nd, 2017 – On Friday, September 29th, family members of Mapuche Political Prisoners on hunger strike gathered at the Chilean Presidential palace to put forward the demands of their relatives, many of whom were nearing their deathbeds after fasting for 115 days. The meeting took place two days after the Chilean College of Doctors, who had been monitoring the health of the hunger strikers, publicly stated all were in serious condition, and that specifically Lonko [Chief] Alfredo Tralcal and Benito Trangol had just 48-hours to live if the fast were to continue.
During the meeting, the Chilean government finally accepted several concessions in dealing with the Mapuche Political Prisoners, including taking actions on revoking the condition of pre-trail detention, as well as DROPPING ANTI-TERROR charges IN EXCHANGE for other charges in Chilean the criminal code. These government concessions would be made upon the condition that the Mapuche prisoners stop their ongoing hunger strike in order to uphold “social peace.”
The next day, 3 of the 4 Mapuche hunger strikers agreed to the conditions put forward by the Chilean government after 116 days of mobilization, with the notable exception of Ariel Tragol, who will continue the hunger strike until all the measures promised by the government have been implemented. Ariel is said to be in serious but stable condition, today marking his 118th day on fast. Medical reports also indicate that Lonko [Chief] Alfredo Tracal and Benito Trangol have suffered permanent damage to their health due to the longevity of the hunger strike.
The following is the initial communique made by Mapuche Political Prisoners on hunger strike:
Public Communique – Mapuche Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike
September 30th, 2017
We, the four Mapuche Political Prisoners 116 days on hunger strike in the prison of Temuco [so-called southern Chile] and in the Intercultural Hospital of Nueva Imperial, state the following today September 30th, 2017.
To all Mapuche and non-Mapuche sympathizers of our cause, Mapuche communities, our Wenuy, to those that never abandoned us and especially those who lost their freedom in fighting for our lives: yesterday, our families were finally received by the Chilean government, having been driven to near collapse before we could make ourselves heard. Our bodies and our souls were carrying this struggle forward with dignity, but we were exhausted.
Some of our demands were resolved in conversations with the government, not so in the case of the Anti-Terrorist Law, which persecutes, jails, and pre-condemns our people [before they set foot in Court].
We have resisted this hunger strike with dignity, which three of us are dropping today, including Lonko [Chief] Alfredo Tralcal, Benito and Pablo Trangol. Ariel Trangol continues on hunger strike until there is certainty that all of the promises made by the government have been made reality. Those of us who discontinue the hunger strike are doing so not because we are happy with the response by the Chilean government, but because we accept this compromise due to poor health. We wish to live. We wish to be free and continue to struggle for every Mapuche, for our freedom and autonomy. We firmly believe that the government capitulated to some of our demands because of the pressure made by all of you, who have never abandoned us.
We send strength to our Pu Peñi [brothers], who lost their freedom fighting for ours. We will not abandon you or your families. We will not let the Chilean government, or any other branch of State, do to you what they have done to us, leaving us near our deathbeds.
We thank all those who supported us, even bodies like the mayoral Mapuche organization (AMCAM) and Bishop Chomali. Nonetheless, we will always maintain the conviction that our struggle is by our Mapuche for our Mapuche Nation. We appreciate and value every single action that was done to support us. We will continue to turn the hand of the Chilean State and its government as many times necessary.
Chaltumay pu lamnien, MARRICHIWEU!!!
We wish to Live to continue the struggle!
We will not rest until we achieve the freedom of our Mapuche Nation!
Amulepe Taiñ Weichañ! Weuwaiñ!
ALFREDO TRALCAL COCHE
BENITO TRANGOL GALINDO
ARIEL TRANGOL GALINDO (continues on hunger strike)
PABLO TRANGOL GALINDO
Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]