(Mapuche Territory, Chile) Political Prisoner Machi Celestino Córdova’s Health is Again at Serious Risk


(Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the support network of the Machi Celestino Córdova—Indigenous Mapuche political prisoner. The communique speaks to his rapidly deteriorating health due to an ongoing hunger strike, and the unwillingness of the Chilean state to allow the Machi to renew his Rewe and freely practice his spirituality. The original was published by Radio Kurruf and can be found here).

Urgent Notice to the National and International Public

Nueva Imperial
June 25th, 2018

We want to inform the People of the Mapuche Nation and the non-Mapuche brothers and sisters that today, June 25th, 2018, Machi Celestino Córdova has reached the 26th day of his reinitiated hunger strike. The health of our spiritual authority is showing signs of gradual deterioration that are rapidly advancing. Unfortunately, the specialist treating him at the Intercultural Hospital, Machi Rosa Collia, has decided to discharge the Machi Celestino Córdova who has been hospitalized for more than 2 months. This decision was expected and came after the refusal of the government to even sit down to dialogue about potential possibilities in making happen the visit of our spiritual authority to his Rewe. The state has shown its unwillingness to respect and value his position as a Machi. They have ignored his diagnosis and treatment which suggests, “The Machi Celestino has a sickness related to his Mapuche spirituality and the only place where he can be cured and continue his life is his Rewe…”. She thus prescribed 48 hours to exercise the medical treatment. In spite of her efforts to help Lamieng Machi Celestino, she has been ignored. Thus, it was decided today to discharge our spiritual authority, putting responsibility in the hands of the gendarmerie and the government for the deterioration of his health. It is important to mention that until this moment the Machi Celestino still has not been translated to the prison of Temuco, since the director of the Imperial Hospital has not given permission for the discharge. The doctors of the hospital, who practice allopathic or Western medicine, have kept a registry of the health and vital signs of the Machi. They see that if he is discharged from the hospital, his life is in danger, due to his grave state of health.

As family, friends and the support network of Machi Celestino, we reject the unwillingness of the government to resolve the issue. We hold responsible Leonardo Barrientos (Regional Director of Gendarmerie), Luis Mayol (Mayor of Araucanía), Mauricio Ojeda (Governor of Cautín), Hernán Larraín (Ministry of Justice and DDHH), and Sebastián Piñera (President of Chile). We hold them responsible for the physical deterioration and eventual death that is possible of our Machi Celestono Córdova. They are apathetically restricting the right of health and spirituality to our Machi with the change of his Rewe. We reiterate that the request of Machi Celestino is his departure from prison for 48 hours to renew his Rewe and be able to exercise his spirituality inside the prison. Before making this request, the Machi carried out all the relevant judicial and governmental procedures seeking the ability to freely practice his spirituality—all of which were denied by state agencies.

On Wednesday, June 27th, a group of 12 Machi, accompanied by the spokespeople and family of Machi Celestino and Lonkos, will visit to reunite as Mapuche Authorities with the maximum authority of the Chilean government in the Palace of Moneda at 11:00. We call on all of the Lamieng Mapuche and non-Mapuche that live in Santiago to accompany us at the press conference we will carry out that day at 12:00 in the front of La Moneda.

We thank all of those who have supported the request of the Machi for forms of autonomous and territorial resistance. We ask you that you not stop carrying out mobilizations as a means to pressure those who have the power to accept the request of Celestino Córdova.

Spokespeople, Family, Friends and Support Network of Machi Celestino Córdova