CHILE: Mapuche Political Prisoners Release Statement Against Integrating into Old State

A flag with the Guñelve, a symbol flown by the Mapuche indigenous people of Chile

By Nélida Tello

Earlier this month, ten Mapuche political prisoners detained in Angol prison released a statement on their political position regarding the old Chilean state.

Angol prison serves as one of the designated detention centers for indigenous Mapuche political prisoners. For generations, the Mapuche people have continuously faced abuse and repression from both the Spanish colonizers and the old Chilean state. In 1984, fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet implemented the Anti-Terrorist Law particularly aimed at suppressing Mapuche activism and the opening of Mapuche territory to capitalist exploitation, allowing forestry corporations to extract resources from the land.

The Anti-Terrorist Law is still widely utilized today, and disproportionately applied to Mapuche people. The fascist law allows Chilean authorities to detain people without evidence, without bail, and without charges. Defendants can be held in preventative detention for months until charges are investigated, in many cases prisoners remain in preventative detention for years until they are proven innocent or acquitted of charges. Prosecutors are allowed to withhold evidence from defendants, and witnesses are allowed to remain anonymous.

In their statement, the ten political prisoners pay tribute to the Mapuche who have been murdered by the Chilean state:

…the struggle of any people who stand up against the state that oppresses them has consequences, and this is jail or death […] these Mapuche have names and last names, it is for them that we are tremendously proud of this fight, because it is made up of brave men and women.

The statement continues:

Today the state has attempted to isolate those who rise up against their oppressors. The Chilean state along with all of its institutions, such as:

The Ministry of the Interior: politically manipulating institutions to persecute the Mapuche people and the social movement in general.

The Tribunals: handing Mapuche people harsh and abusive sentences, receiving orders from the government and the ruling class, condemning the Mapuche nation even before they are tried, in conjunction with bourgeois media that work to delegitimize the just struggle for land.

The Attorney General’s Office: together with the carabineros (national police force), the local police, and other intelligence organizations who carry out the harassment, persecution, torture, and manipulate scenarios and evidence.

National and Regional Human Rights Organizations: limited in function because they depend on the state, functioning as informants, which goes against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Gendermerie (militarized police): carries out abusive raids and tortures Mapuche people, prohibiting access to Mapuche spiritual practices, violating its own bourgeois laws and international treaties that protect indigenous peoples (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, No. 169).

The Mapuche Penal Defense: created by the state to give the illusion that Mapuche people have the right to justice and defense, however such an organism serves the state, condemning and incarcerating the people it claims to protect.

The aforementioned institutions are the ones that murder, torture, imprison, and repress the social movement.

As dignified Mapuche combatants, it is a contradiction to say the least. We do not want to integrate into a state that for years has condemned us to poverty and genocide. It would be to betray those who have given their lives to liberate the Mapuche nation. We, nor the communities in resistance, nor the Mapuche political prisoners are willing to negotiate the blood of our brothers and sisters murdered by the Chilean state.

From the Prison of Angol,

AMULEPE TAIN WEICHAN!!!! (Long live the struggle)

MARRICHIWEU!!!! (One hundred times we will win)

José Queipul Huaiquil
Freddy Marileo Marileo
Danilo Nahuelpi Millanao
Juan Calbucoy Montanares
Javier Lagos Morales
Cristian Curinao Catrileo
Juan Queipul Millanao
Sinecio Huenchullan Queipul
Sergio Levinao Levinao
Víctor Llanquileo Pilquiman

A demonstration by Mapuche people in Chile against a landfill in their territoriy.