Senator Visits Mapuche On Hunger Strike In Chilean Jails

Written by Alia Alhafny - Friday, 30 July 2010

Left-leaning senator Alejandro Navarro this week visited the Mapuches who are currently on hunger strike in Chilean jails, to talk about their current situation as well as a way to modify the anti-terrorism law against which they are protesting (ST, July 14).

Representatives of the Mapuche community expressed their disappointment that government officials had not reached out to speak with them over the issue. Navarro, who is responsible for a bill which looks to rewrite the anti-terrorism law, travelled to prisons in both Temuco and Concepcion to meet with those incarcerated.

Navarro said he felt it was urgent that the current government, to which he stands opposition, sit down with the Mapuche community. Those involved in the hunger strike have gone without food for over two weeks so far, with no plans to stop, and are reportedly starting to experience health problems (ST, July 29). Navarro also said he did not think it was logical that the government and the Ministry of Justice are focusing on human rights issues in other countries such as Cuba (ST, July 8), instead of what is happening at home.

Local officials in Concepcion have also criticized Minister of Justice Felipe Bulnes who visited the jail and held a press conference on another matter, while completely ignoring the plight of the Mapuches, saying that he had nothing to speak to them about.

Navarro has made a call to the government to create an open dialogue in which those involved in the strike can make their case heard and where the issues can be discussed in a formal manner.

By Alia Alhafny ( \n


Source: The Santiago Times



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