Argentine activist Santiago Maldonado disappeared after police attacked an Indigenous Mapuche protest on Aug. 1.
Hundreds of Argentines are flooding the streets of Buenos Aires to demand the safe return of disappeared activist Santiago Maldonado, who went missing on Aug. 1.
The Pampean People’s Movement for Human Rights, MPDDHH, announced their plans to take part in the protest.
Organization members are marching for justice, demanding that repressors receive the same treatment as their victims: a pretrial detention in a common jail.
“Today, we are witnessing the implementation of repressive policies that date from the most bloody dictatorships in Argentina and Latin America, but this time in democracy under the standards of a neoliberal economic model. This model expels citizens, condemning them to poverty and helplessness,” the MPDDHH said in a statement.
“That is why we invite all to join, for the condemnation of the past, the memory of the present and the defense of our rights for the future.”
Since Maldonado’s disappearance, human rights organizations and social movements have defended the cause, calling for an end to forced disappearances and repression from the Argentine government. Authorities continue to deny any connection to the 26-year-old’s abduction.
On the day of his disappearance, Maldonado was participating in a demonstration led by the Indigenous Mapuche in Cushamen against government plans to sell native land to the Italian clothing company Benetton Group.
According to witnesses, the protest was interrupted by the federal police force. One participant and community member, Matias Santana, claimed to have seen officers force Maldonado into a vehicle after knocking him unconscious.
Sergio Maldonado, Santiago’s brother, said the only realistic theory explaining the case is that he was “taken by police.”
Evidence from a court investigation on Friday showed that national security forces spied on the activist’s family just days before the incident occurred.
According to investigators, messages about the 28-year-old activist were sent to the head of 35th squadron of the military police.
The Federal Police found a total of seven Word and PDF documents containing intelligence information, confirming that police officials were spying on Maldonado’s family.