07/31/2018

Urgent Action Victory! – Indigenous Leader Ends 2 Month Hunger Strike (Chile: UA 75.18)


After nearly two months on a hunger strike, Mapuche Indigenous spiritual leader Machi Celestino Córdova is granted access to his ceremonial altar to carry out a renewal ceremony, essential to guaranteeing the Mapuches’ psychic and physical well-being.

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After nearly two months on a hunger strike, Mapuche Indigenous spiritual leader Machi Celestino Córdova is granted access to his ceremonial altar to carry out a renewal ceremony, essential to guaranteeing the Mapuches’ psychic and physical well-being.

Machi Celestino Córdova is a spiritual leader of the Indigenous Mapuche people. He has been confined in the Prison Compliance Centre of Temuco, Chile, since his conviction in 2014 for the deaths of Werner Luchsinger and Vivian Mackay. He is a Machi, considered the highest religious authority of the Mapuche people.

His role as a Machi requires that he periodically visit his rewe (or ceremonial altar) to carry out renewal ceremonies, essential to their health. The Chilean Gendarmerie (prison authorities) denied his formal requests to visit his rewe several times.

In an attempt to gain access to his rewe, Machi Celestino Córdova held two hunger strikes in 2018; the first ended in mid-April while the second started on 31 May and ended on 27 July once he was granted access to the ceremonial altar. At that point his life was at critical risk.

Many thanks to all who sent appeals. No further action is required of the UA network at this time.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES