August 12th is a call-out day for solidarity actions with Mapuche political prisoners, who are nearing the one-month mark of a hunger strike. This is a double-sided half sheet flier that could be useful to hand out at a demo or event. One side is background about the Mapuche conflict and the other side is a statement from the prisoners at El Manzano Prison in Conception.
The Mapuche conflict can feel physically far away from us, but it's important to remember that the system they struggle against is the same one we oppose here. Voicing our support for them is just one small way we can contribute and let folks in other places know that we are fighting alongside them.
Mapuche political prisoners located within the colonial borders of Chile
are requesting international solidarity. There is a call for action on
August 12. The prisoners are on a hunger strike, which has almost reached
The Mapuche are an indigenous nation that successfully resisted spanish
occupation. Wallmapu - or Mapuche country - extends across the
nation-state borders of southern Chile and Argentina. Starting in 1861,
their lands were usurped by the Chilean state during a violent process
that was called the pacification. Mapuche community members were murdered
and jailed by the military, and Mapuche conflict with the state continued
throughout the 20 century.
After the military coup in 1973, Mapuche community members were targeted
by the Pinochet dictatorship, including an attempt to erase Mapudungun,
the Mapuche language. After the end of the dictatorship, there was a
strong reemergence of the Mapuche conflict, and the movement became
increasingly visible. The conflict seeks autonomy from the Chilean state;
the state considers the conflict one of its largest threats. Mapuche
communities often have local conflicts with multinational forestry
plantations and large farm estates that usurped Mapuche territory.
The presidency of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) began using the
dictatorship-era Antiterrorist Law against Mapuche community members in
conflict. The law allows prosecutors to use unidentified witnesses. The
witnesses’ voices are scrambled, and their faces are hidden by a screen.
There are also cases of Mapuche militants who have been shot and killed by
police such as Matías Catrileo and Alex Lemun.
There was another profile hunger strike in 2008. The strike included the
participation of Patricia Troncoso; she continued the hunger strike for
over 100 days. Due to the length of the hunger strike, Troncoso’s case was
one of the few moments that the english language press mentioned the