AMERICA/CHILE - The Cathedral of Concepción occupied by the families of Mapuche Political Prisoners, Mgr. Chomali mediator

Friday, 22 September 2017 indigenous   poverty   democracy   politics  


Concepción (Agenzia Fides) - Yesterday a group of protesters, family members of the Mapuche Political Prisoners (PPM), occupied the Cathedral of Concepción. Immediately after Archbishop Mgr. Fernando Chomali urged the authorities to take seriously into account the demands of the Mapuche people: "who need greater constitutional recognition. I think it is time to deal with the issue more seriously: their culture must be more respected and the problem of land has not been solved, these are the underlying issues".
Fides received a Tweet where it was informed that Archbishop Chomali agreed to speak with Juan Carlos Tralkal, representative of the Mapuche Political Prisoners (PPM). The PPM occupied the Cathedral and began a hunger strike in order to attract the attention of public opinion throughout the country.
Mgr. Chomali expressed his opinion during a press conference with regards to the strikers: they have not had a due trial, especially after a year of preventive detention. Moreover, the occupation of the Cathedral was a planned action and for no reason will they be thrown out by the police. Mgr. Chomali also informed that he agreed to mediate between the regional authorities of Araucania and the members of the Mapuche Political Prisoners (PPM).
On his behalf, Juan Carlos Tralkal, one of the spokesperson for the Mapuche families, thanked the Church for her work.
"The occupation of the Cathedral is a symbolic act to draw attention and to ensure that people support the Mapuche who are in the prison in Temuco", Tralkal said.
Fides informed about the "Mapuche Cause" and the contribution of the Church since the first developments of the issue (see Fides 9/07/2004), following the activity of the Dialogue between Mapuche and the Chilean government under the guidance of Mgr. Vargas (see Fides 7/01/2014) with the support given by the Chilean Bishops' Conference. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/09/2017)