Huge crowds gathered Friday in support. | Photo: Twitter / PeriodistaPeron
Thousands of people have been demonstrating in front of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires to demand that the government of President Mauricio Macri “return” Santiago Maldonado, an activist who has been missing since August 1.
This was the biggest of several protests in the last two days over what human rights campaigners are calling “the first disappearance” of the Macri presidency. It was called by an array of organizations, including the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights.
The demonstrators shouted their traditional slogan, “He was taken alive, we want him back alive now!” They said they hold the Argentinian state solely responsible for the disappearance of Maldonado, and rejected remarks by the minister of security and the president who both denied that the police played any part in the case of the young indigenous rights activist.
On Thursday, the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine women whose children disappeared during previous military dictatorships, also marched to demand Maldonado’s return.
“We want to embrace Santiago again and make sure that all officials responsible for the disappearance go to jail,” the organization said in a statement.
Hebe de Bonafini, a leader of the group and rally organizer, blamed Argentine police forces and the government for his disappearance.
Maldonado vanished after a military police raid on an Indigenous Mapuche community in Cushamen, Chubut Province. (telesurtv.net)