Mapuche leader asks Chilean government to restore ancestral lands

Machi Celestino, a Mapuche leader, called on Monday not to «let your guard down,» even if he dies in his hunger strike.

The machi (spiritual advisor) of the Mapuche people, Celestino Códova, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 70 days, called on his people not to stop fighting for their rights before the Chilean State and demand the return of their ancestral lands, according to a message broadcast on social networks.

Córdova, due to the strike that he has been holding for more than two months, is in a delicate state of health, so he asked his people in the event of a «possible death, […] not to lower their guard and fight until the Chilean State «returns the ancestral Mapuche territory.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mapuche prisoners have demanded treatment from the Chilean State similar to that given to other common prisoners, such as early release or parole; This has led to a protest in the form of a hunger strike in two prisons.

In particular, machi Córdova was the only one convicted in February 2014 after a long trial for the death of a married couple due to fire, with an 18-year sentence and no benefits.

Cristina Romo, spokesperson for the machi hunger strike and her companions, also called for continuing the mobilizations and joining the fight being carried out in the prisons by Mapuche political prisoners, and «fighting this injustice with all kinds of actions» .

The Chilean Prosecutor’s Office has not yielded to the demands of the Mapuche prisoners, which has motivated in response the announcement of the machi that would intensify his hunger strike, with the risk of a fatal outcome for his life.

In this way, he tries to pressure the Government to fulfill his claims in favor of his people and his rights as a prisoner.

Source: Telesur, Social networks

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