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  • Celestino Cordova during his trial in Santiago, Chile, October 2, 2013.

    Celestino Cordova during his trial in Santiago, Chile, October 2, 2013. | Photo: EFE

Published 16 August 2020
Opinion

According to machi spokespersons, the guarantors asked to wait until this Monday to make a final decision.

Chile’s Justice and Human Rights minister Hernan Larrain Sunday announced what would be the Government's final proposal to machi Celestino Cordova, although he warned that "there is no government or court authority that can give him what he requests."

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This comes after the Mapuche leader announced that he could begin a dry hunger strike this Monday if he is not granted a six-month stay (or the duration of the pandemic) in his community.

“So far we haven't had a definitive response from the machi's spokespersons,” Larrain said.

“We have worked to deliver real and effective proposals that are also pointed to other Mapuche community members who are in the prison system, to allow them to develop their customs and respect their worldview.”

Celestino Cordova, along with 26 other Mapuche prisoners, led a hunger strike demanding the government to allow them to spend part of their sentences in their original communities, as conceived in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization concerning native peoples. Chile is signatory of that document.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Justice rejected the machi defense’s appeal for legal protection. This led the indigenous spiritual leader to go on dry strike if the government did not give a positive response to his claims.

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