Social organizations, political parties, and unions in Argentina marched Thursday to demand the freedom of social leader Milagro Sala, who has been under house arrest for 1,000 days. “For Milagro, freedom; for Morales popular repudiation,” protesters chanted.
Sala is 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.
“Milagro has been in prison for 1,000 days. Prisoner for having built the most genuine social organization in Argentina. We need Milagro Sala to continue building,” the Tupac Amaru organization, which Sala leads, stated.
Sala is a renowned activist who is seen as President Mauricio Macri's first political prisoner. She created the Tupac Amaru Organization, which provides housing and other services to informal workers and working class sectors, she served as an Argentine legislator between 2013 and 2015 and was later elected by the Front for Victory Party, led by former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to Mercosur’s parliament.
Martin Sabatella, a politician and member of the center-left New Encounter party said “this detention is the result of political persecution and the brutal political harassment against the working class sectors by this neoliberal, neocolonial, and profoundly authoritarian government. This social massacre is accompanied by political persecution and Milagro is a victim of that.”
Hugo Yasky, secretary general of the Argentine Workers' Central Union called Sala a “hostage of Jujuy’s oligarchy, headed by Gerardo Morales.”
Her supporters also released a documentary about her life and work with testimony from several journalists, relatives, and activists. The documentary was filmed by Cynthia Garcia and Martin Adorno who seek to expose how Sala has been a victim of political persecution. “These 1,000 days of Milagro as a political prisoner are also 1,000 days of (President Mauricio) Macri and all of us,” the documentary’s production teams said.
The United Nations, Amnesty International, and several other human rights groups have demanded Sala’s release and called her detention “arbitrary.”