Natemamu

A clarification about the tragic death of Leslie Allison

On behalf of Miguel Chiriap, we would like to make the following statement regarding the sad passing of our sister Leslie Allison:

Miguel Chiriap is an Uwishin, traditional Shuar healer, who has been practicing ancestral Shuar medicine for over 30 years. Miguel has been recognized as an Uwishin and a Representative of the Elder’s Council by the Corporación Etnociencia Cultural "Uwishin", and has also been granted a Certificate of Ordination under the American Religious Freedom Act Public Law 95-341 of the United States of America. As such, Miguel has been carrying out Natemamu rituals with large groups of locals and foreings for over 10 years.

Even though we have not made public declarations regarding the passing of Leslie for respect of her family and friends, we have communicated directly with her closest family members to explain and clarify the circumstances of her unfortunante passing.

moreover, we have not answered questions from the press, under the advise of Miguel’s lawyer, in order to comply with Ecuadorian law and to prevent unfounded and malicious rumours and accusations. As of today, the legal process regarding Leslie’s passing is in a phase called ’Previous Investigation’, where only the parties involved have access to the process documents, which has the purpose of gathering and evaluating evidence in order to determine criminal liability. Once this phase is over, the Public Prosecutor will determine, based on the evidence analized, if criminal charges will be presented. It is worth noting that Miguel should not be imprisoned during this phase according to Ecuadorian law, because criminal liability has not been determined.

We understand that confusion and rumors have surfaced since Leslie's tragic passing. While we cannot comment in detail at this moment due to the ongoing legal proceedings, we avow that Miguel did everything in his power to assist and heal Leslie during her final moments. The other men and women who were there that day participating in the ceremony have confirmed this in multiple testimonies given at the Prosecutor’s office, which are now part of the official case file. We are pained by the rumors but feel certain that in due time the truth will overcome.

We express our deepest condolences and solidarity to Leslie’s family, who are in our everyday prayers.

We will release another statement once we have more information available.

Sincerely,
Miguel Chiriap and family

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