Sunday, April 02, 2023
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Freedom for Milagro


Freedom for Milagro

By: Glenda Arcia*
Buenos Aires, (Prensa Latina) Seven years after she was arrested, hundreds of people marched in San Salvador de Jujuy, in northern Argentina, to demand the release of social leader Milagro Sala and denounce the legal persecution against her.

Union and human rights organization members arrived in Belgrano square to express their support for the Tupac Amaru group leader and urge Jujuy provincial governor, Gerardo Morales, to stop aggression, irregularities and violations of due process.

They also requested a presidential pardon and warned about Sala’s health condition, who is suffering from deep vein thrombotic events.

Members of Tupac Amaru, Argentina’s Central Workers Confederation,State Workers Association, and other groups, carried banners and posters with signs with phrases, such as “Mafia justice” and “No to Morales’ dictatorship.”

Meanwhile, the Committee for the Freedom of Milagro and other entities reiterated in the provincial capital the need for President Alberto Fernández to get involved in the case.

Sala was arrested on January 16, 2016, for allegedly encouraging violence when she led a protest in Jujuy against changes imposed on the cooperative program designed by Morales.

She is currently under house arrest, but the area’s authorities demand her transfer to a regular prison and reject her doctors’ requests to take her to a specialized medical center.

Over the past few years, different organizations denounced the humiliation and attacks suffered by the social leader, and last December condemned the decision made by the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to ratify a sentence of 13 years in prison for alleged illicit association and fraud against the State.

One of his lawyers, Luis Paz, said that pardon is possible and pointed out that the CSJ ruling is an affront to collective memory, the struggle for rights and democracy.

“That sentence is not only a legal aberration, but a classist decision. Meanwhile, she deteriorates physically and psychologically. Inexorable death lurks,” he warned.

“Milagro never knew what she was accused of, the requirement to take the case to trial does not include any indication of dates or waysof committing the crimes she is accused of. The lack of transparency was continuous and she was not allowed to include expert, documentary or testimonial evidence,” he added.

He also recalled that only six out of 83 witnesses were authorized to testify and Sala was excluded from oral proceedings for more than 60 days.

In an interview granted to the newspaper Página 12, the indigenous leader reiterated her innocence and denounced persecution against her and others, such as Vice President Cristina Fernández.

“Two years ago, I would have said no to a presidential pardon because I trusted the CSJ, but judges did not bother to review my case and supported Morales,” she said.

*The writer is Prensa Latina’s correspondent in Argentina


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