CULTURE

Machi Celestino Córdova visits his rewe

SANTIAGO – Celestino Córdova, who sits in jail for an incendiary attack on the property of the Luchsinger-Mackays in which the couple died, visited his rewe last Saturday. After over 100 days of hunger strike, the Machi stopped because the government granted him permission to renew his rewe. The ceremony is highly important for Mapuche comuneros.

After a 103-day hunger strike and many hospitalizations Machi Celestino Córdova received government permission to leave prison for 15 hours and renew his rewe. The ceremony is crucial for Mapuche and around 24 people attended.

Strongly guarded by police, Machi Celestino Córdova was taken from the hospital to his rewe in Padre las Casas community. The transfer was guarded with one Carabineros helicopter and several special forces personnel, among them Special Police Operation Group GOPE.

Justice minister Hernán Larraín made clear that the Machi received the same treatment as anybody else: “What we are doing isn’t about giving someone special privileges, he is like every other inmate, who can request an authorization regarding a special situation.”

Larraín also explained during a press conference that about 200 Carabineros guarded  Celestino Córdova and that privacy of the event was important during the visit.

Mapuche representative Galvarino Reimán explained the importance of the ceremony, which seeks to connect human beings with the universe, or wallmapu. Part of the ceremony consists in the building statue, using the oldest oak possible, but specifics could differ depending on the community.

After the ceremony, Córdova returned to the hospital. Cautín province governor Mauricio Ojeda said the Machi returned to the hospital at seven o’clock in a prison ambulance. Ojeda highlighted that the return was without problems and that everybody respected the mutual agreements.

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