I was invited to join my colleagues in La Boca in a demonstration. This time, it was not part of a protest against economic policies, unemployment or delocalization. It was a story of a man who disappeared days ago and who seems to be a victim of armed forces’ members.The tragic disappearance of Santiago Maldonado, a guy close to the Mapuchean community in Cushamen, Chubut, who’s missing from the 1st of August, has pushed hundreds of people to meet at Plaza de Mayo on Friday the 11th. Witnesses affirm he was taken by some people of the Gendarmerie and nobody has been able to discover anything about what happened to him next.
It is a cruel story, which involves huge economic interests and the indigenous struggle to protect their own land, a story on which Santiago was investigating and that seems more complex and dangerous than expected.
The demonstration was organized by human rights’ watchers such as Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Cels and APDH. We were there from 5 PM when everything began. His relatives called the event a forced abduction and claimed the Homeland Security Department to return Santiago immediately.
It is difficult to say if they will be able to meet Santiago again, but certainly what happened last Friday was a historical event, also because forced disappearances make Argentina remember it's difficult and violent past, through the military regime and its horrible murders. After so many years, fear has not ended.