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  • Protesters hold up signs to demonstrate against Argentine President Mauricio Macri's state visit in front of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Protesters hold up signs to demonstrate against Argentine President Mauricio Macri's state visit in front of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Netherlands. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 March 2017

The group protested austerity measures under President Macri and demanded the release of Indigenous activist Milagro Sala.

A group of Argentines led a protest against President Mauricio Macri Monday as he began his two-day state visit to the Netherlands, as marches against his government continue to gather steam in Argentina.

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Some of the protesters, members of the H.I.J.O.S. organization, a human rights group from Argentina, chanted slogans against the president during the welcome ceremony at Dam Square in Amsterdam, where Macri and his wife Juliana Awada met with king Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at the beginning of the trip.

The protesters shouted "30,000 present," referring to the number of people disappeared and killed during the country's military dictatorship in the 1980s. The statistic has become a flashpoint for many Argentine groups after Macri garnered harsh criticism for suggesting the number of victims was much less.

"There are 30,000 disappeared," protesters in Amsterdam shouted. "Macri don't forget!"

Also, referring to the Panama Papers scandal that revealed that Macri had stashed wealth in offshore tax havens, the demonstrators chanted "Panama, Panama, where is the money?"

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They also shouted "Macri — hunger!" to slam the austerity measures under his government that have driven 1.5 million into poverty since he came to power in December 2015, as a study shows.

The also sang "Ole ole, ole ola, just as the Nazis, where they go we will go and look for them."

On the other side of the square, there were supporters of Macri who sang the campaign slogan, "Yes, we can" and the Argentine national anthem. Both sides briefly crossed and began insulting each other, and police reported one was person arrested.

"We knew they were going to come, that's why we are here," said Natalia Díaz Romero in response to H.I.J.O.S.

Queen Maxima is from Argentina and holds dual citizenship, which sparked debate after Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma suggested she should give up her Argentine passport.

The Netherlands is one of Argentina's top three investors and top 10 export destinations.

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Dear TeleSUR, Please review and correct your headline and lead. The referendum took place in the municipality of Cajamarca in the Tolima Department, located in the Central Andes region of Colombia of Colombia, not in Perú.
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