The 28-year-old went missing on August 1 and an unidentified body was discovered in the area where he disappeared on Tuesday.
The family of the missing Argentine activist Santiago Maldonado have confirmed that a body found in the Chubut River earlier this week is their son’s.
His brother Sergio told the media they were able to make the identification by the markings and tatoos on the remains.
“We were able to look at the body, …we recognized the tattoos. We are convinced that it is Santiago,” Sergio said.
He added, “This does not remove that the Gendarmerie (police) is responsible…we are going to continue the investigation so that to know the truth and to have justice”.
The autopsy is underway and Sergio said the DNA tests are expected “within a few days.”
28-year-old Santiago went missing on August 1 and an unidentified body was discovered in the area where he disappeared on Tuesday.
The remains were discovered caught in the branches of willow trees on the Chubut river, about 1,500 meters from the community guard of the Indigenous Mapuche community in Pu Lof, near Esquel.
The activist went missing there shortly after he was arrested during a demonstration in support of Argentina’s Indigenous Mapuche community.
The protest in Patagonia was part of a long-running dispute between Benetton, the Italian clothing retailer that owns 2.2 million acres of land, and the Indigenous people who claim part of the territory.
According to witnesses, the rally 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.
On Wednesday, the family’s lawyer questioned why the body had only been found this week after three other unsucsessful dredging attempts, “We have no explanation of why the other results were negative and this is positive.”
Sergio Maldonado also asked why the body had been found upstream, in a previously checked area
He tweeted that he thought the remains could have been planted there.