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Juana suffers heart attack in Jail

ivan noke | 08.10.2007 11:29 | Globalisation | Repression | World

Friends of Mapuche chief Juana in Bristol and all around the world are deeply concerned at her plight.
If you care about human rights, please read and act!

Juana Calfunao, as Chief of the Juan Paillelef community, in the Cunco District, IX Araucania Region, is a figurehead of the campaign to recover land belonging to her people which has been occupied by neighbouring landowners. Her situation is one of the most serious cases of human rights violations in Chile.

Distinguished tribal leader and brave campaigner flolor the rights of her community and the Mapuche people. As a result of her struggle, she has become a target for violent political persecution at the hands of the Chilean establishment and landowners in the region.
In a letter dated 5th Oct addressed to Mapuche International Link, one of Chief Calfunao’s close relatives stated ‘’I am writing to you with urgency and desperation, I see Juana dying and giving her life as a last resort to denounce and to vindicate in defence of the rights of the Mapuche people’’. It also stated that the health of Chief Calfunao and her sister is now in an extremely serious state, they’re hands and bodies are cold to the touch, they have little strength to speak, it is difficult for them to breathe, they are finding speech very difficult, and they are experiencing an abnormally rapid heart beat.

The state of health witnessed above is a reflection of the findings of an official medical report of 29th October which confirmed Juana’s severe weight loss (approx 13% of their body weight) they are at risk of severe malnutrition, they are conscious yet lethargic, and are now at high risk of cardio respiratory problems and renal failure, decreased immune system function with gastro intestinal complications, in short their lives' are now in serious jeopardy. The diagnosis referred to in this report have now sadly been realised, in a similar report produced on the 2nd of October which concluded that Chief Calfunao had indeed now suffered a heart attack.

The current Chief of the Juan Paillalef community Chief Juana Calfunao and her sister Luisa have been on hunger strike since 7th August, in a Chilean prison in Temuco in a desperate attempt to draw attention to her community and families ongoing struggle for justice. The Chilean authorities have maintained silent with regard to Chief Calfunao and this issue whilst the Chilean media have offered no coverage her situation.

Chief Calfunao from Cunco, 9th region, Wallmapu, Chile continues to suffer brutal and systematic repression at the hands of the Chilean authorities and local land owners (latifundistas) of European descent, in their centuries old struggle for ancestral land rights and self-determination.

In a bid to break the determination of the leader of the Juan Paillalef community and her predecessors, successive Chilean authorities have systematically targeted the entire Calfunao family by means of false arrest and imprisonment (with recourse to anti-terrorist law being systematically applied to Mapuche people as a means of social and political repression), interrogation, police brutality, torture and intermittent police raids where violent assaults and intimidation are commonplace.

A statement issued on the 5th of October by Carolina Landero Calfunao, daughter of Chief Calfunao, reads ‘’From the 9th Region of Araucanía on this the 11th month of unjust incarceration of members of my community and my family I wish to state that this government has bullied both the communities and the people….those who daily suffer physical and psychological harassment. We have had enough of sitting and talking with a government which does not deliver that which it promises.’’

Currently in detention are Chief Calfunao; her husband Antonio Cadin; sister Luisa Calfunao; sons Wailkilaf Cadin Calfunao and Jorge Landero Calfunao; mother Mercedes Paillalef Moraga and daughter Carolina Maciel Landeros Calfunao the later two being held on house arrest.

Mapuche International Link have again requested the urgent intervention of international human rights organisations in support of Chief Calfunao and her family.

Please contact the following address to express your concern and solidarity:

· Misión Permanente de Chile ante las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra, 58, Rue de Moillebeau (4º piso), CH-1209, Ginebra, fax: + 4122.734.52. 97,

· Misión de Chile ante la Unión Europea, 106 Rue des Aduatiques, 1040 Bruselas, Bélgica, Fax.: +32 (02) 736 49 94,

· Sra. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Presidenta de la República, Palacio de La Moneda , Santiago, Chile. Fax: (+562) 690 4958,, ;

· Sra. Paulina Veloso Valenzuela, Ministra Secretaría General de la Presidencia, Palacio de La Moneda, 1160 Entrepiso, Santiago, Chile, fax: + 562. 69.04.329,

· Sr. Belisario Velasco Barahona, Ministro del Interior, Palacio de la Moneda s/n, Santiago de Chile, fax: (+562) 69 68 740, (contacto de prensa)

· Sr. Isidro Solís Palma, Ministro de Justicia, Morandé 107, Santiago Casilla 21, Santiago, Chile, fax: (+562) 698 70 98, ; ;

· Sr. Alejandro Foxley Rioseco, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Catedral 1158, Piso 3, Santiago, Chile, fax: (+562) 696 87 96, ;

· Don Eduardo Klein Koch, Intendente IX Región La Araucanía, Bulnes 590, piso 2, Temuco, Chile, fax: +56 45 208630 o +56 45 208218,

· Sr. Tucapel Jiménez F., Presidente Comisión de DDHH, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía de la Cámara de Diputados,

· Senador Sr. Carlos Ignacio Kuschel Silva, Presidente de las Comisión de DDHH, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía del Senado,

Please write also to the diplomatic representative of Chile in your country.

Further information can be obtained by contacting:

Mapuche International Link
Reynaldo Mariqueo on 0117 9279 391 or see :

ivan noke
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