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News > Latin America

After 200 Days, Activists Demand Release of Indigenous Leader

  • Sala is considered President Macri's first political prisoner.

    Sala is considered President Macri's first political prisoner. | Photo: Facebook Milagro Sala

Published 3 August 2016

Social movements also took to social media to protest the 200 days Milagro Sala has been imprisoned.

Argentines are protesting on social media and demanding the Argentine government release Milagro Sala, an imprisoned Indigenous activist and lawmaker

Argentine Indigenous Political Prisoner to Begin Hunger Strike

Followers of Sala used the hashtag #200Días (200 Days) Wednesday to raise attention to the number of days the activist has spent in jail.

Sala was arrested on January 16 on charges of public disturbance and stands accused of illicit association and fraud based on alleged mismanagement of public funds.

She was arrested after staging a sit-in outside the local government office of Jujuy to reject the reorganization of subsidies to cooperatives, which were proposed by Governor Gerardo Morales, an ally of President Mauricio Macri’s political party, Cambiemos.

WATCH: Milagro Sala, Macri's 1st Political Prisoner, Starts Hunger Strike

According to Sala’s attorney, Elizabeth Gomez, the legislator has been arrested four times over the past 10 years but has never been charged.

UN to Mauricio Macri: Free Indigenous Leader Milagro Sala

“To leave someone detained they need to have evidence that something actually happened, that this fact is a crime, that it’s the person’s responsibility, and that there is a risk that the person would escape. None of that has happened in any of the cases against Milagro Sala to this date," said Gomez.

According to activists and human rights activists in Argentina, the detention is politically motivated and an example of the criminalization of protest.

Sala is jailed in the Alto Comedero prison in northern Argentina and human rights groups have named her the "first political prisoner" of the Macri administration. According to the Tupac Amaru association she leads, the iconic activists also stands accused of cover-up, attempted murder and kidnapping a baby.

Sala is an elected official in the parliament of Mercosur, a regional integration body including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

WATCH: Protests Continue in Argentina in Support of Indigenous Leader

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