Freedom for Patricia Troncoso and for the Mapuche people

Posted by admin on December 15, 2003 under Uncategorized | Comments are off for this article


Chilean Government continues trampling on Human Rights

We want to call international attention to denounce the mistreatment that the Mapuche people are suffering from the Chilean Government and to show solidarity with Patricia Troncoso, a Mapuche woman, and prisoner in a Chilean jail who has spent more than 100 days on hunger strike.

The life of Patricia Troncoso is at serious risk. The Chilean Government could resolve this dramatic situation responding favourably to her two simple demands: to be allowed home on Sunday and transfer to an agricultural penitentiary centre.

The struggle of the Mapuche people is the struggle of all indigenous peoples, it has no artificial administrative borders so their struggle is linked with the recognition that our Latin America is made up of multiple nations and peoples, who over the course of more than 500 years have been discriminated, marginalised and persecuted.

Patricia’s legal process has been full of irregularities: twice she was declared innocent; in spite of this, the Chilean Government used a law created during the Military Dictatorship called the “Anti-terrorist Law” with which they could use anonymous witnesses and who were paid a great deal of money to testify against her.

Patricia and thousands of Mapuche land workers who live in indigenous communities penned in by multinational forestry companies and private estates have seen their most elemental human rights trampled on, suffering persecution, torture, unlawful entry in their homes and provocations by the Chilean armed forces, the police and the ruling legal system.

Patricia’s current state of health is very critical according to the report prepared by a medical team, formed on the expressed request of the Inter American Human Rights Commission. This medical team recommends—among other things—her urgent transfer to a Santiago hospital. However, Patricia remains shackled in her provincial hospital bed, isolated and even denied telephone communication with the Executive Secretary of the Inter American Human Rights Commission.

The behaviour of the Chilean Government against a woman in grave risk and who simply claims justice for herself and her people seems really shameful and unacceptable to us.

We demand an immediate solution to the situation of Patricia Troncoso and the Mapuche people.

We ask for the Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, to communicate, heart to heart, with the Mapuche people and start a direct dialogue to repair the injustices caused.

Tomás Hirsch
Spokesperson for Humanism in Latin America

Giorgio Schultze
Spokesperson of the European Humanist Forum

The same has been signed by other organisations, among them DEFENSORIA INTERNACIONAL DE LOS DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS (DIDEPU). But, this was a quick action and a comprehensive list of signatories was not collected.

The same text has been sent to the Embassies of Chile in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

En Castellano: Libertad para Patricia Troncoso y Justicia para el pueblo mapuche

Some pictures of visits to embassies of Chile in Europe

Press about the occupation of the building of International Labor Organisation in Santiago de Chile for the cause of Patricia and Mapuches