21 november 2007
Mapuche political prisoners receive police protection.
Temuco de Chile.

The Temuco Appeals Court ruled Monday to protect five Mapuche political prisoners held in Angol prison. The prisoners — now on the 39th day of an indefinite hunger strike — will be moved to a special support unit of the prison in anticipation of any health issues they may suffer from the hunger strike. They will also receive police protection.

The five prisoners are currently serving sentences of up to ten years for acts of arson committed against forestry companies, but which involved no fatalities. The activists were tried under provisions of the Anti-Terrorist Law created under the Pinochet dictatorship and later revived by the Lagos administration. Prosecution under this law greatly increased the length of jail terms.

The prisoners are part of the Arauco-Malleco Association, a radical Mapuche group fighting against the presence of the forestry industry on their ancestral territory.

Spokesperson for the Mapuche Political Prisoners (PPM), Angélica ñancupil, said her organization will only accept immediate release of the prisoners, because, “they have been victims of an undue process of law.”