The statement made by Mapuche Political prisoners at Temuco's prison, after stopping their total hunger strike has taken the country to the highest point in the struggle for fundamental human rights that we have lived.
This article was published in Diario Electrónico de Radio U de Chile: http://radio.uchile.cl/cartas-al-director/176580/ ; Mapuexpress: http://www.mapuexpress.net/?act=publications&id=7052; Le Monde Diplomatique en línea (Chile): http://www.lemondediplomatique.cl/Huelga-de-Hambre-Mapuche.html Here English version with minor updates.
Government and leaders have shown their traditional inclination for authoritarianism and its corresponding ability to "punish just because". Because they have the power, they control the force and because "this country is theirs to decide". They have laws, economic power and strength. Parliament and Justice are also part of most immoral historical manipulations that a dictatorship can make: A Constitution made by the dictator, in 1980, ensures this. They believe to have cleaned, actually bleached, the face of the dictatorship. But they have left the country wounded, stripped for the benefit of just a few. The state has had a Pyrrhic victory, i.e., a victory from which they will hardly ever be able to recover. Its deceptive attitude has caused a loss of any respect it could have had. Their expected electoral harvest failed and now it rots.
I mentioned today, in a separate note where I commented on the news related to the decision made by these young Mapuche activists in their long hunger strike: "All sectors of society have been touched and are expected to prevent a crime against the Mapuche Nation. Each and every one can do it... or be complicit by commission. Or worse, in spite of the obvious moral and social implications, be guilty by default, by omission, of this shameful situation unfolding under our eyes.” http://radio.uchile.cl/cartas-al-director/176580/
This implies that we all stand up and must define our own accountability about this crime against a group of young people. Mapuche youth have grown up under repression from a system that plunders their lives continuously. Several of them were born even after the end of the dictatorship. But themselves, and their own children, are growing up in hell, in a despicable and immoral society absent of justice and democracy, with an illegitimate legal structure.
Too much abuse from the State will shatter this country of the privileged and they will lose more than what they think. Either Chile, as a country, respects all of its peoples or there will be no country for anyone. It is the State that produces chaos. The hunger strike was forced by the government's bullying pride.
Young Mapuche have put their lives on the line and said, "Enough of this". As they were not defeated, moral victory is theirs. The establishment's attempt to kill them failed: they are alive and will fight against their oppressors. Forever. Opportunists have also received their lesson: they now must know where to stand and they have to demonstrate it. There are no more protective advantageous havens, as opportunistic people always look for. Thus, we now see those who want to, by themselves, "make the new constitution". All that is, of course, just to protect their current privileges. And that will not happen. Mapuche people have given a lesson in dignity in a country where the established powers wanted us believe that there was no dignity that we should only care about the profit. And we have all been educated because they look well beyond this superlative navel promoted by both the Concertación (social-democrats and centre right parties) and Alianza (right and extreme right parties) that have run the country since Pinochet. Mapuche have helped us to lose our imposed fears, made us think as communities, to enforce respect for all of their people: these are new values seeping deeper and valid for the entire civil society. Chilean youth looks around and learns, becoming a new democratizing force as well. This is our brotherly people: the enemies of the Mapuche have also imposed upon the rest of the vast majority of Chileans a society where the established powers could loot and, to maintain their behaviour, they would use repression.
We acknowledge the generosity of these young peñis (brothers) as people who are still educating us for a just and fraternal World… for all. It is with solidarity and a unified struggle that the entire country must stop the repressive hand and attitudes of the State. And for that, we must all be part of it.
A post Municipal national ballot comment: Chile’s majority voters did not participate, as elections have not shown to solve anything. Mapuche (youth) voted in about 18%, and the national average participating in the ballot was less that 40%. Many regions had a 15% participation. Chileans have also taken notice and realize that the entire legal and electoral system is still part of the scheme left by Pinochet. This makes things more complex and people increasingly indicate that a new Constitution is needed. How long will this take? How much will be the repression increased? These questions are up in the air but need urgent attention. Chilean tycoons control the administration, economy and armed forces... but not the people.