José Venturelli, FRCP (C)
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics,
Faculty of Health Sciences - McMaster University
Home + Correspondence Address: 45 North Oval, Hamilton , ON
Phone: 1 905 523-8983
E-Mail: /

October 6, 2007

The Honorable,
Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada

Re: Chilean Mapuche women's life at risk as they entered there 51st day of hunger strike.

Dear Prime Minister,

It is with the outmost concern that I write these lines to you and to other concerned Canadians with issues related to Human Rights. The lives of two Chilean First Nations (Mapuche) women are in great danger as it is explained in the attached medical report. This is part of a continuous repression against the Chilean Mapuche people.

I urge you to make immediate representations to the Chilean President, Mrs Michelle Bachelet, about these people endangered lives. Their human rights have been systematically put aside and violence is the routine treatment. Excuses pretending that their claims are hiding common crimes is a simple and persistent lie, an improper accusation made even by the President herself in her visit to Switzerland where she was severely criticized by the treatment given by her government to Chile 's First Nations people.

Doctora Ociele Nuñez, private doctor, examined the two sisters that have sustained a 51 day strict hunger strike. It was done at the request of Carolina Landeros Calfunao and Carlos Acosta, children of these Mapuche women, both leaders of the First Nations of Chile. Mrs Juana Calfunao's eldest son, Waikilaf Cadin. 27, a law student, has not been able to visit her as he has been detained by the Chilean Government in maximal security, without trial, at the Maximal Security Prison in Santiago . The following document is the medical report provided by Dra. Nuñez, who examined these two prisoners. Note that no facilities whatsoever are being provided by the prison's authorities to either these prisoners or to the examining physician.

This most concerning situation confirms the UN Committee annual report on Human Rights in Chile and concerned with the treatment given by the Chilean Government to First Nations in Chile. Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he visited Chile this year was certainly not told of this situation. Mapuche people who protest about the persistent violations of their rights are treated with an antiterrorist law made by Pinochet himself that after 17 years of "democratic government" continues to be enforced. This contrasts dramatically with the treatment given to the perpetrators of thousands of crimes against humanity. Pinochet himself was a transparent example of how Justice in Chile is not served. In spite of 16 years post dictatorship he died untouched and protected. His family and other military people continue to be spared and given all types of deferential treatment. The continuous repression towards Chilean Mapuche people has made large numbers of Human Rights Organizations, in Chile and abroad, to protest for the attempt to make Chile a permanent member of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

I look forward to your urgent response on behalf of these Chilean Mapuche women. Canada 's must maintain its traditional response to Human Rights for peoples of the world. The need for intervention is now.

Yours truly,

José Venturelli
incl. Medical Report

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