Aníbal Fernández met with the heads of the command in charge of the eviction in Villa Mascardi
The Minister of Security, Aníbal Fernández, made a balance this Wednesday of the eviction in Villa Mascardi with the heads of the four federal forces in a day in which there was criticism from human rights organizations, from where they questioned the intervening federal judge and demanded that the Executive reopen a dialogue table with the Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu community.
Fernández held a meeting at the Ministry headquarters with those responsible for the Federal Police, Gendarmerie, Prefecture and Airport Security Police (PSA), the forces that make up the unified command of Villa Mascardi based in Bariloche, which deployed 250 troops in the vicinity of National Route 40 to vacate properties where Mapuche families had settled.
The operation was carried out in compliance with the judicial order of the substitute federal judge Silvina Domínguezwho ordered “to stop the crime” in the nine lots denounced as usurped by the Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu community, for which he decreed the secrecy of the summary, in a case in which the prosecutor Cándida Etchepare also intervenes.
Seven women from the community were arrested during the procedure and taken to a PSA unit while this Wednesday the rakes continued in search of other members of Lof, who could have withdrawn “up the mountain”, according to the evaluation of the officers in charge of the operational; meanwhile, Gendarmerie personnel remain in the evacuated places to prevent a possible re-entry of people.
“The result has been positive because our intention was always to be able to enter with the care of the case, without lethal weapons,” Fernandez remarked in dialogue with Public TV.
Also, he stated that spoke with the governor of Río Negro, Arabela Carreras, and that “in general terms” both agreed on the analysis.
“We did it quietly and carefully,” said the head of the Security portfolio.
Also, he indicated that “The work that Judge María Silvina Domínguez and the prosecutor (María Cándida Echepare) carried out was very clear”.
Also, Fernández denied that there have been shots or attacks: “None of those things can be true because there were no lethal weapons. Not even a scratch. I got tired of hearing that there were assaults and shootings.”
Regarding the arrests that occurred during the operation, he maintained that all the detainees “were transferred, except for a pregnant woman who went to the hospital first, to a dependency of the Airport Security Police”.
And in the case of the boys and girls present on the premises, the minister added, the Minority area of the province and the Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Family intervened.
At night, from the Center for Legal and Social Studies (Cels) they criticized Judge Domínguez for informing the defense attorneys that “they are going to transfer the detained Mapuche women to the City of Buenos Aires”, and denounced that the lawyers “They do not give them more information about that measure”, which, they warned, “is not right, it’s wrong,” they warned from Twitter.
“More than 36 hours later, seven Mapuche women are still detained, one of them 40 weeks pregnant, and two months old children. They are staying at the PSA headquarters,” Cels had previously questioned.
The position of human rights organizations
Hours before, human rights organizations, including Cels, issued a statement in which they stated that “The way to resolve conflicts must be through a Dialogue Table between the parties and not with the resurgence of repressive policies”.
“Once again we point out that the rights of indigenous peoples have constitutional status (article 75 paragraph 17 of the Constitution) among which is access to the territories they claim, multilingual education and recognition of their cultural identity. As all the rights enshrined in the Constitution must be respected,” they stressed.
They also expressed “concern” about the formation of the unified command for the Villa Mascardi area, aimed at “securing the people and property of the town” and proposed that “a dialogue table be convened that includes all the sectors and with strong institutional political backing”.
Among the signatory organizations were Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Founding Line, Relatives of the Disappeared and Detained for Political Reasons, Permanent Assembly for Human Rights (Apdh), Cels and the Argentine League for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, representatives of various communities of the Mapuche Tehuelche people continued with a series of measures and criticism of the actions of the security forces against the Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu.
In the morning, members of the Popular Neighborhoods Roundtable carried out a demonstration in Viedma in front of the Judiciary to claim land and repudiate the eviction of the Lafken Winkul Mapu community.
For Soraya Maicoño, spokeswoman for the Lof Quemquemtreu community, a Mapuche territorial recovery located on the Cuesta del Ternero, 30 kilometers from El Bolsón, is “regrettable what we are suffering.”
“It is because of this imbalance of forces that the hegemonic media always install a story that puts the Mapuche people in a place of vandalism, terrorism, crime,” Maicoño warned in statements to Télam.
The spokeswoman for Lof Quemquemtreu questioned why the Mapuche people are constantly accused of “endangering the sovereignty of the Argentine people” when “in reality all these territories are remaining in foreign hands with the complicity of the governments,” she pointed out in reference -among others cases- to the figure of the English tycoon Joseph Lewis and his properties around Lago Escondido.
Also the social leader Hugo Aranea, werken (spokesperson) of the Waiwen Kurruf Mapuche community and general secretary of CTA Autónoma Viedma, rejected Tuesday’s eviction operation.
“From the Mapuche-Tehuelche people we have more than 200 years of struggle and resistance. This is one more part of the advance of right-wing sectors, but the struggle does not end, the struggle continues,” said Aranea.