Mapuche Political Prisoners on 60+ day Hunger Strike during Chilean Bicentenary (September 18th)
34 Indigenous Mapuche Political Prisoners have undertaken an INDEFINITE hunger strike. Starting July 12th 2010 in various jails throughout so-called southern "Chile" including Concepcion, Lebu, Angol, Temuco, and Valdivia in order to demand their Rights as a Sovereign Indigenous Nations.
This during the Year of Chile's BICENTENARY: September 18th, 2010. Representing the Ongoing Genocide of Our People.
FREEDOM FOR ALL MAPUCHE POLITICAL PRISONERS!
ABOLISH PINOCHET'S ANTITERRORIST LAW!
END THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY OF MILITARY JUSTICE!
STOP THE MILITARIZATION OF MAPUCHE TERRITORY!!
Do Your Part!
DON'T BUY CHILEAN FRUIT & WINE!
The History of the Mapuche Nation
The indigenous Mapuche People (meaning people of the earth) have resided for millennia as a nation in what is today known as southern Chile. In 1641, after years of war with the Spanish colonizers, the Mapuche Nation signed the Treaty of Quilin with Spanish Crown, on a nation to nation basis, recognizing Mapuche sovereign territory south of the Bio-Bio River. The Mapuche were one of the only indigenous nations in South America to ever sign a treaty with the Spanish Crown.
However in 1810, after the independence of the Chilean colonies, a process of expansion begins on the part of the newly conformed Chilean State, beginning with the annexation of Mapuche territory in the 1818 Constitution by usurping colonial Chilean founder Bernardo O’Higgins. From 1860 onwards to the late 19th Century, a brutal military occupation of Mapuche territory (also known as Arauco to the Spanish) was carried out by the Chilean State known as the “Pacification War” (Guerra de la Pacificacion), where hundreds of Mapuche people were killed, displaced, and were reduced to less than 5% of their original territory. Most of the surrounding land was illegally auctioned to a few private individuals or settlers, establishing large landed agricultural estates, which up to this day encompass most traditional Mapuche territory.
During the Pinochet military coup (1973 – 1990), further encroachment of Mapuche territory is carried out through the privatization and auction of public lands to private corporations making up the export-based pulp and paper industry. These includes the establishment of Cellulose Plants, or paper mills, and Forestry corporations such as Mininco Inc., Arauco Forestry Inc., among others; using environmentally harmful practices such as the complete removal of indigenous species of tress and plants with exotic pine tree plantations, which are then logged for export.
Since the reestablishment of “democracy” in 1990, the neo-liberal policies of privatization have continued intensifying the encroachment of Mapuche territory, sparking the mobilization of Mapuche communities, which have been severely repressed by the State and its official branches. Mobilization of the communities in conflict, most notably the founding of the Coordinadora de Communidades en Conflicto Arauco Malleco organization (translated as the Arauco Malleco Coordinating Committee otherwise known as CAM) has resulted in extreme repression on behalf of the Chilean State. This repression can seen in that the Chilean State not only allows for private estate owners and corporations to continually encroach on Mapuche lands, but also by the use of the Pinochet era Anti-terrorist law, the constant harassment and incarceration of Mapuche organizers, and most tragically, the shooting deaths of two Mapuche youth, 17 year-old Alex Lemun Saavedra in 2002, and 22 year old Matias Catrileo Quezada in 2008 by Chilean police officers.
Why Boycott Chilean Fruit & Wine?
Since the Chilean government has focused on neo-liberal policy, such as the promotion of the Fruit Staples and Wine for development and expansion, the industry directly affects the Chilean State’s strategic economic and territorial interests in Mapuche territory, as it opens the doors for further trade of other commodities with different countries such as the paper and pulp industry.
That is why this ongoing boycott is directed to the “owners” of Chile (the rich) who together with the government exclusively profit from free trade, and are the political ideologists behind the murder and repression of the Mapuche People.
Chile 2010: No Bicentenary on Stolen Land!
The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
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