Comisión Mapuche de Derechos Humanos
Mapuche Human Rights Commission
Commission Mapuche des droits de l’homme

Public Statement

Mapuche Human Rights Commission

Europe, July12th 2020

We urgently call the international community’s attention to the twenty Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike since May the 4th in the cities of Angol, Lebu and Temuco prisons, southern Chile. Among them is the spiritual leader Machi Celestino Cordova whose health is in a critical condition.

The political prisoners have resorted to hunger strike in response to the repressive violence being experienced by Mapuche communities in the midst of a governmental crisis in Chile. They have taken this drastic action in protest against their confinement in unsafe and unsanitary jail cells, in which contraction of Covid-19 is a real risk. The prisoners plead to be allowed to complete their preventative sentences in their own communities.

We wish to highlight the fact that the Mapuche people, over recent decades, have been subjected to escalating state violence from the Chilean state. There are currently around thirty Mapuche political prisoners incarcerated in Chilean jails, all of them involved in the struggle for the recuperation of their lands and for territorial autonomy.

We demand that the Chilean government complies with its obligations under ILO Convention 169 (Articles 7, 8, 9, 10), the UN Mandela Rules for the treatment of political prisoners and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We insist that the Chilean government complies with international law by guaranteeing the physical and spiritual welfare of Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike, as well as the freedom of all Mapuche political prisoners in Chilean jail’s.

We are in urgent need of help from the Chilean Human Rights Institute, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to take the necessary measures to arrest the spiralling state violence against Mapuche political prisoners on hunger strike.

We urgently call for the intervention of the IACHR to safeguard these individuals, and to implement precautionary measures as the only way to save their lives.

Jorge Calbucura
Executive Director
Mapuche Human Rights Commission

Nationals Sections

Mapuche Human Rights Commission, Switzerland
21 Avenue Sainte-Cécile, 2éme étage,
1217 Meyrin, Genève, Suisse.

Mapuche Human Rights Commission, United Kingdom
6 Lodge Street,
Bristol BS1 5LR.
United Kingdom.

Mapuche Human Rights Commission, Sweden
Bondevägen 3
35253 Växjö

Mapuche Human Rights Commission, Argentina
Comunidad Cacique Pincen, Trenque Lauquen,
Provincia Buenos Aires,


Translated from Spanish by James Edwards
Mapuche International Link