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  • The body is being transferred to Buenos Aires for the autopsy.

    The body is being transferred to Buenos Aires for the autopsy. | Photo: Pagina 12

Published 18 October 2017

"We've gone through these places and we did not see that body ... we want the truth,” Sergio Maldonado.

Veronica Heredia, the lawyer representing the missing activist Santiago Maldonado's family, has said they will wait for the autopsy results of the body found on Tuesday in the Chubut River, in the Argentina.

Body Found on Argentine River Bank Near Location of Maldonado Disappearance

"We have to have the autopsy result, then we'll see the other tests," Heredia told a news conference.

The remains were caught in the branches of willow trees on the river, about 1,500 meters from the community guard of the Indigenous Mapuche community in Pu Lof, near Esquel.

Heredia questioned the discovery of the body, during the fourth dredging of the river, after three previous operations had also been conducted, saying, "We have no explanation of why the other results were negative and this is positive."

"We do not understand … we have no physical or legal explanation of why that body was found yesterday," she reiterated.

A forensic expert working closely with Maldonado’s family, Alejandro Inchaurregui, emphasized that although the body was found in clothes similar to those Maldonado could have been wearing, it still does not imply that it is him.

Inchaurregui also said the autopsy will be carried out in Buenos Aires.

Sergio Maldonado, the brother of the missing young activist, also questioned how the body was found upstream, in a previously checked area, where a corpse could easily have been previously found.

"We've gone through these places and we did not see that body ... we want the truth,” he said.

He tweeted that he thought the remains could have been planted there.

Activists ask ‘Where is Santiago Maldonado?’ at Che Commemorations in Bolivia

The body was found quite close to where Maldonado was last seen.

The 28-year-old disappeared on August 1 in Pu Lof shortly after he was arrested during a demonstration in support of Argentina’s Indigenous Mapuche community.

The protest in Patagonia was part long-running dispute between Benetton, the Italian clothing retailer, which owns 2.2m acres of land, and the Indigenous people who claim part of the territory.

According to witnesses, the rally was interrupted by the federal police force. One participant and community member, Matias Santana, claimed to have seen officers force Maldonado into a vehicle after knocking him unconscious.

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