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  • Celestino Cordova in his bed in Temuco prison, Temuco, Chile, 2020.

    Celestino Cordova in his bed in Temuco prison, Temuco, Chile, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @eldesconcierto

Published 11 August 2020
Opinion

The Mapuche political prisoner demands the Piñera administration to comply with Convention 169 of International Labor Organization (ILO).

The Mapuche Spiritual Advisor (Machi) Celestino Cordova’s health is in critical condition after Tuesday reaching 100 days on a hunger strike to put pressure on President Sebastian Piñera's administration to allow him to serve his sentence at home.

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Chile: Government And Mapuche Talks, Yet No Solution In Sight

As Cordova's health situation worsens, many voices have raised to denounce what is happening with the Mapuche community and to be part of the negotiating process.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) President and Rapporteur for Chile Joel Hernandez told local outlet Diario U Chile that prisoner’s demands are legitimate. He also stressed that the government has the obligation to safeguard his physical integrity.

On Sunday, Piñera referred to the critical situation going on Temuco prison and assured his administration is willing to create channels that allow dialogue.

"The government has a total commitment to the rule of law, public order and public safety,” he said, adding that "for that reason, the government is open to dialogue with those who wish to do so, respecting the rule of law, renouncing to violence and collaborating in advancing solutions.”

Cordova is recluded in the Temuco prison along with 27 other Mapuche political prisoners, from where they demand the Piñera administration to comply with the Convention 169 of International Labor Organization (ILO) and recognize the worldview and customs of the Indigenous persons who are serving sentences.

Cordova was sentenced to 18 years in prison over the crime of arson causing death, after his alleged participation in a fire in which an elderly couple died. He was arrested 1,750 meters from the scene and is until today the only person accused of this crime.

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