Argentine activist Milagro Sala, leader of Tupac Amaru association, spoke to teleSUR from prison Tuesday about conditions in jail, the damage President Macri has caused to the country's marginalized and the future of Latin American politics.
teleSUR: Milagro, more than 500 days have passed since you were illegally detained. How are you?
To be honest, I am a bit upset with the justice system in Jujuy. Unfortunately, the judicial system is not independent It can’t be that in Jujuy I am not freed and I have to depend on the Supreme Court in Buenos Aires.
Milagro Sala: I think it is unjust because I know I have done a lot for Jujuy and I feel like I have been wronged by this injustice. I am indignant.
What is it like day to day in the prison? How are you treated by the authorities? How do they treat other political prisoners?
They harass us, they persecute us, they don’t let us move freely. From the moment, I wake up there is a person who follows me everywhere I go. It doesn’t matter if I am showering there is a person knocking on the door, if I am walking to the corner, a guard follows me.
Being jailed with only restricted access to information, what is your analysis of the political situation with Cambiemos in Argentina?
It is amazing how quickly Argentina has been destroyed in just 16 month, harming retirees, workers. Sadly today the percentage of those living in poverty has risen considerably — in less than one year and six months.
Where before Kirchnerismo fought for 12 years to reduce the number of poor people in Argentina and ensure wealth distribution, today all funds collected by the state go to the rich. It’s also incredible how much imports have fallen, this has led to factories closing and more people working on the streets. This means families are going hungry and not sending their children to school.
And the situation in Jujuy?
The situation in Jujuy is incredible how today there are inventing construction companies where all the money stays within the family of the Union Civica Radical.
Just as they have handed out the public offices, they have also handed out judicial offices and business between the families of the Union Civica Radical, cutting out anyone else from participating. The rich has it all while the poor is faced with repression.
Internationally, there has been a call for your release. Why do you think this still has not happened?
Because of politics. If the courts really were independent what is happening to me would not be happening.
This Friday the Inter-American Human Rights Commission will travel to Jujuy. What are your hopes for this visit?
I want them to see our living conditions, to recognize that Jujuy is become increasingly militarized, that you can’t protest because if you protest they invent a reason to send you to prison. I have been used as an example to stop social protest and democracy in Jujuy.
What would you say to Cristina Fernandez regarding her possible candidature in the next elections?
Firstly that unity is very important for all of Argentina. And secondly, that Cristina stands for election because we need her, we need to recover what we have lost in a year and six months where the rich governs and the poor die from hunger.
Finally, how do you see the situation in Latin America today?
What is happening in Venezuela is very intense. Sadly, the opposition with the support of the United States and the International Monetary Fund is very strong. They are causing Maduro a lot of trouble. Meanwhile, Latin America is being invaded by corporations and corporate interests. But there is a lot of resistance from our comrades.
A final message for Latin American and Argentine militants?
The youth need to get ready because they are the future of Latin America. Today Latin America needs the youth, the militants, the unionists and above all unity.