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  • Milagro Sala supporters hold a picture of the activist at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2017.

    Milagro Sala supporters hold a picture of the activist at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2017. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 December 2018

Sala was recently acquitted of attempted murder, an accusation she claims is politically motivated.

Activist and Indigenous leader Milagro Sala, now in detention, has announced she will run in the 2019 regional elections for governor of Jujuy province, northern Argentina.

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“I have the intention of competing against Gerardo Morales in the elections,” said Sala during a radio interview on Thursday.

Sala said she wants to improve the living conditions of the people of Jujuy, where she says there’s “no democracy or freedom, only hunger.”

The activist was unanimously acquitted of attempted murder on Thursday in the 'Shooting of Azopardo' case, from October 27, 2007. Sala celebrated the verdict and thanked the judges for not succumbing to government pressure.

Morales, Jujuy’s incumbent governor, described the court’s decision to acquit the activist as “shameful.”

“The ruling acquitting two criminals such as Milagro Sala and Beto Cardozo is shameful,” Morales wrote on Twitter.

“If there’s something that the people of Jujuy know about is the violence they committed and how much they stole. The struggle against impunity continues.”

Sala is one of the founders and leaders of the Tupac Amaru Neighborhoods’ Organization, providing housing and other services to informal workers and working-class sectors since 1999.

She is also being investigated for alleged illicit association, fraud and extortion, crimes she was charged with days after being detained in early 2016 for allegedly instigating violence during a protest against Jujuy Governor Gerardo Morales, which she didn't attend.

The case is known as the “Pibes Villeros” and Sala claims it's political persecution “to discipline the leaders and the opposition,” as she told teleSUR in October.

Tupac Amaru Neighborhoods’ Organization claims the persecution against Sala is “politically motivated.”

The activist has expressed multiple times her intentions to participate in the regional elections in Jujuy. In 2017, while she was under house arrest, Sala said she would like to run against Morales “as equals, not from prison while he is ruling over everything here in Jujuy.”

Sala served as an Argentine legislator between 2013 and 2015 and was later elected to Mercosur’s Parliament (Parlasur), prior to her arrest in 2016 for allegedly instigating violence against the state.

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