(Mapuche Territory, Chile) Historic Day, Machi Celestino Has Returned to His Rewe


(Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the family and spokesperson of the Machi Celestino Córdova. After an extensive hunger strike, Machi Celestino Córdova was granted a brief exit from prison to renew his rewe. While this is a major victory for Celestino Córdova, the Mapuche people and those working in solidarity with the Mapuche struggle, it is just one step forward in a much longer and more integral struggle for Mapuche autonomy, territoriality and freedom. The original communique was published and introduced by Radio Kürrüf. The original in Spanish can be found here ).

On Saturday, July 28th, the Machi (spiritual leader) Celestino Córdova returned to his Rewe (sacred altar). In spite of wanting to avoid public exposure, the harassment of the official press has been unavoidable since the first declarations were made by the Werken (tribal leader) Mijail Carbone to Radio Biobío. The response of the government, the ministry of justice and human rights and the technical council of the Gendarmery of the CCP Temuco has been broadcasted through all the traditional media, endorsing the acceptance of this right. The family and spokesperson have reported the ratification and are grateful to those who mobilized for this important objective of struggle.

In declarations via press conference yesterday July 27th, after being notified by the regional director of the gendarmery Leonardo Barrientos, the spokesperson Gabriela Calfucoy emphasized that this is an accomplishment of the Mapuche communities and the Chilean people in solidarity with the demands of the Machi. She referred to his delicate state of health and made clear that the brothers Pablo and Benito Trangol Galindo, who raised demands in solidarity with the exit of the Machi to his Rewe, continue in hunger strike for the ruling of nullity in the infamous Caso Iglesia.

The above differs drastically from what has been said by the minister of justice Hernán Larraín who argues this ruling as an exceptional act of charity by the gendarmery technical council and not a right established by law in the agreement 169 of the OIT. This contradicts one of the main arguments that sustained the previous negative ruling for the exit to his Rewe—that Celestino could not have access to benefits because he behaved poorly inside the penitentiary.

A government, inconsistent in relation to human rights, has argued in a contradictory manner, perhaps taking advantage of the little memory and critical mass of the collective population. However, it is widely known that the exit to his Rewe was political, after the declarations of Jorge Luchsinger, son of the married couple Luchsinger Mackay, who died in the fire at the heart of this case and the sentencing of the Machi. Meeting with Alfredo Moreno, minister of Social Development and Committee of Lonkos of La Araucanía with Aniceto Norin present, the chess game was mobilized and the consequences of these decisions undoubtedly still aren’t visible.

From the spokesperson, they are clear to express that this is an achievement of the Machi, his struggle for better prison conditions for the Mapuche population, respect for the Mapuche practice of spirituality as much on the inside as on the outside of the prisons. In summary, a historical struggle which marks the before and after in the resistance, no action will arise without rogation, no one will physically place themselves in front of the invasion without also being prepared spiritually.

To continue, we share the communique released by the family and spokesperson of Machi Celestino Córdova:



Mari mari kom pu lamieng ka kom pu wenuy,

Before anything else, we greet and give thanks to our Karül Wenu Mapu Chaw, and to the natural order, to all the spiritual forces and ancestors, to all the Lof Mapu and Communities in Resistance of Wall Mapu, to the Spiritual Authorities and ancestors of our people, to the Machi, Lonko, Werken, to the lamieng who participated in the hunger strike in different territories, to all the original peoples of Chile and the world, to the different creeds, urban sectors, non-Mapuches, organizations, professionals, students, national and international commissions and observers of human rights, relatives, friends of those deprived of freedom, to those non-Mapuches who actively supported and made themselves part of the just demands and Mapuche cause, to the humble society in general.

The care, generosity and solidarity are infinitely appreciated, as well as all of the mobilization of each one of us lamieng from where they are and the great support for our just demand, to those in the countryside and the city, in the national and international spheres.

Today, July 27th of 2018, our Machi Celestino Córdova has decided to CEASE THE HUNGER STRIKE.

To say that the right to health and to exercise of his Spirituality HAS BEEN ACHIEVED. That this is a triumph mainly of the Machi Celestino, of his family and all of the Mapuche and non-Mapuche people. Today we have been able to advance in the improvement of the prison conditions. However, we are still trying to reach an agreement on the exit of our Machi to his Rewe, we hope that soon it is resolved and carried out.

Finally, we make a call to continue supporting and standing in solidarity with the brothers Pablo and Benito Trangol who continue in hunger strike for the annulment of the process that sentences them with faceless witnesses…

Today we have advanced in the rights of our Machi that will permit him to strengthen himself and all of us. Still we continue the struggle for the rights of all of the Mapuche people and in this path, we will continue pushing.

“That the Mapuche Nation and all the humble non-Mapuche society remember that they should never surrender and lower their guard in order to continue validating their legitimate rights.”

(Machi Celestino Córdova.)

Caltumay pu lamieng.

Relatives, Spokesperson, Friends and Support Network.