The following is a summary of the recent actions carried out by Machi (Medicine Healer) Celestino Cordova, who resisted 102 days on hunger strike. All our Newen to our Mapuche warrior and our dignified people for supporting this brave endevour and resisting ongoing colonial encroachment by the Chilean State and other capitalist interest. More on this to follow….
April 28th, 2018
After 102 days of a hunger strike by Machi Celestino Córdova (spiritual authority of the Mapuche Nation in Chile), the Mapuche authorities (Machi, Lonko, Werken), Mapuche members of the Wallmapu, together with the support network and family of the Machi Celestino, we declare the following to the national and international public, to the Wallmapu nation:
- For us as Mapuche authorities (Machi, Lonko Weken) the life of a person has profound value in our culture and the projection of our life, sustaining the Mapuche cosmovision in two dimensions: earthly and spiritually. In the case of our Lawengelu, Machi Celestino, his existence is sustained through and with his spirituality. He carries the role of fulfilling the interaction between earth and universe, to maintain an equilibrium of life of the Mapuche people, an integral life, that is individual and collective.
- The 102 days of a hunger strike of our Machi, along with the suffering and uncertainty our people have experienced, is the direct responsibility of the Chilean state. The government has not had the will to understand and accept the petition of the Machi to go and renew his Rewe, in his house (an act of renewal of his spirituality and connection with his Wallmapu).
- This denial and violation of the right of the freedom of worship “Mapuche Feyentun” by the Chilean government and all of their institutions, demonstrates that the highest Chilean authorities act without any human sensitivity, demonstrating the absolute lack of knowledge of what is Mapuche spirituality. In spite of the Chilean state remaining in our territory for more than 200 years—territory they have sought to own—they have not been able to exterminate us. This is regardless of the most atrocious different genocidal and terrorist acts humanity has known. To use just one example, the burning of the Machi in his Ruka.
- To the Chilean state, its institutions and contemporary authorities, we the Mapuche authorities urge a permanent dialogue with dignity and true respect. We solicit this dialogue in order to quickly come to an agreement so that the Machi Celestino Córdoba is able to go to his Rewe, for the various cultural and spiritual reasons that are already publicly well-known.
- We have asked him and he has agreed to suspend the strike for the days known only by the perrinmontun. This is for various reasons: the 102 days of extreme suffering and eminent loss of life of the Machi Celestino on part of the Chilean State; and the suffering, but also courage, of his wife and young kids along with his family members. This has been done in accordance with the message of the Pu Lonko of different Machi of the Wallmapu, and at the same time with a commitment to not abandoning Machi Celestino for any motive until he is able to return to his Rewe.
- To our Peñi, Lanmgen, Kona, Fvche, Kuche, Ngillatufe, Pichikeche, Weny, along with all of the Indigenous peoples of the world, we want to reinforce that the suspension of the strike should not be taken as a failure, but as strength. A demonstration of dignity and of the value of the life of the Mapuche. We also address the Wallmapu Mapuche on the other side of the mountain, on the other side of the ocean where there are mobilized Peñi men and women. The 102 days of hunger strike of the Machi Celestino should not for any reason be taken in vain. In his role as a spiritual guide of our people, Machi Celestino has planted in each one of our minds the real value the Feyentun Mapuche has in our daily life. That is to say, the Mapuche resistance and struggle should take on two dimensions: spirituality and the recuperation of the territory, or Wallmapu.
- The suspension of the hunger strike has a yielding character, but not one of failure. We summon the government to fulfill their word, “That with pressure there will be no dialogue.” Now that there will not exist pressure on part of the Machi for authorization to go to the Rewe when he determines, the pressure will be the responsibility of each one of the communities. In turn, we as Lonko, Machi, Werien, will continue acting in an organized manner.
- We solicit all of the peoples, whether religious, parliamentarian, human rights organizations, etc. to the medical school, to help guarantee the governments of the Machi’s right to recuperate his spiritual health that today is in danger. In the possibility that the Machi dies, it will be as we have said many times, the absolute responsibility of the government. Our people will know how to seek justice.
- We give our thanks to all of our Peñi Ka Lamngen for their solidarity and conviction in accompanying this noble and just cause promoted by our Lawengelu for our Wallmapu. We also give our thanks to all of the Peñi, Lamngen, and conscious non-Mapuche friends, those that we have now known from their solidarity in support of the petition of the Machi. This effort will be effective when the Machi returns to his Rewe.
Machi Celestino Cordova Support Committee
Translated by our comrades at Voices in Movement
With files from Publicacion Refractario
Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]