Chile: Government must establish dialogue with Mapuche prisoners and guarantee their rights to life and health

Amnesty International sent an open letter to the Chilean president today expressing concern about the situation of the 27 detained Mapuche people on hunger strike in the cities of Temuco, Angol and Lebu.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“The situation of the 27 detained Mapuche people on hunger strike is extremely concerning. Among them is Machi Celestino Córdova, who began his hunger strike on 4 May and announced yesterday that he would begin a dry hunger strike, also refusing liquids. Rather than covering up the situation and denying their responsibility, the Chilean authorities must seek solutions through a dialogue with those on hunger strike in order to safeguard their rights to life and health. In addition, we urge them to evaluate the prison conditions so as not to put those detained at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The situation of the 27 detained Mapuche people on hunger strike is extremely concerning. Among them is Machi Celestino Córdova, who began his hunger strike on 4 May and announced yesterday that he would begin a dry hunger strike, also refusing liquids
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“People in detention still have human rights, including the rights to receive adequate medical care, to be informed of the likely consequences of a hunger strike on their health, and to refuse food. We also remind the Chilean authorities that 19 of the people on hunger strike are defendants in pre-trial detention and the presumption of innocence applies to them, and in some of these cases the government itself is the complainant, through the Municipal Council, therefore other alternatives to this precautionary measure that do not involve prison should be considered as a matter of urgency.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org