The Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have blamed the Argentine government for the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado, an activist who disappeared after a military police raid on a Mapuche community Aug. 1.
The award-winning human rights group say Maldonado was a victim of “institutional state violence” and demand President Mauricio Macri recovers the activist alive.
“The Argentine community knows we have a disappearance in the democracy of Mr. Macri.” Estela de Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, said at a press conference.
The organization said it will occupy the Plaza de Mayo on Friday to pressure the government to deliver Maldonado.
Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies and the Permanent Human Rights Assembly have joined the call to recover Maldonado, claiming the state deliberately disappeared the activist to threaten the Mapuche community.
El viernes 11/8, a las 17 hs, concentramos en Plaza de Mayo con una única bandera: ¡Aparición con vida de Santiago Maldonado! pic.twitter.com/siVC0i6my8— Abuelas Plaza Mayo (@abuelasdifusion) August 8, 2017
"This Friday at 5 p.m. we will occupy the Plaza de Mayo with one message: Santiago Maldonado must be found alive."
“This attack against the community is no coincidence. It is a message from the government to say, ‘guys, don’t mess with us,’” said Norma Rios, president of the Permanent Human Rights Assembly.
Maldonado was last seen during a military police eviction operation against the Pu Lof Mapuche community in the Chubut department of Cushamen. Witnesses say they saw officers shove the 28-year-old into a van and drive away.
Maldonado's family blame the military police for the young man’s disappearance but the government denies its involvement.