A Mapuche leader who has been on a hunger strike to demand justice for Indigenous people arrested in Chile has been taken to a hospital after signs of internal bleeding.
Chief Alfredo Tralcal, also known as “Lonco” among the Mapuche, was transferred to Temuco Hospital south of the country after suffering a gastric hemorrhage.
Four other Mapuche community members have also been on hunger strike, as they have been imprisoned for a year and four months but haven’t been found guilty or tried.
Tralcal and his three brothers, Benito, Ariel and Pablo, are accused of leading an arson attack and burning an evangelical church in 2016 in the town of Padre de Las Casas. They claim they are innocent.
“This is the result of the prolonged hunger strike, we directly call President Bachelet to make a statement regarding the strike and if the outcome is fatal for one of the strikers, it will be her responsibility,” Cristian Tralcal, his son, told 24 Horas.
Tralcal, 46, has the most severe damage to his health, including hypertension, gastric ulcer, chronic erosive gastritis, depression and having lost more than 20 kilograms of weight, according to medical experts.
They warned that the strikers were “at high risk” of grave consequences in their neurological, cardiological, kidney and digestive systems. Benito Trangol has been the only one to begin a “dry strike,” meaning he won’t drink any water.