They demand freedom of detainees for protesting against Milei reforms

They demand freedom of detainees for protesting against Milei reforms

Relatives and human rights organizations demanded on Tuesday in the center of Buenos Aires the immediate freedom of 16 people who are still detained under serious accusations for demonstrating a week ago in front of Congress against a package of economic reforms by libertarian president Javier Milei.

“Freedom, freedom, to the prisoners for fighting,” the families expressed from a mobile stage located in the historic Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Government House, before about 500 people who accompanied their demand, among them, representatives of Grandmothers and Mothers of Plaza de Mayo.

A total of 33 people were arrested last Wednesday during serious disturbances between the police and protesters from left-wing social and political organizations, while the so-called Bases Law project was being debated in the Senate, a series of economic, labor, administrative and taxes with which Milei intends to deregulate the third largest economy in Latin America.

Of the total number of those arrested, 17 were released. The rest remain in prison due to flight risk.

With water cannon trucks, tear gas and rubber bullets, security forces dispersed the activists, but clashes continued several blocks from Parliament.

A group of protesters set fire to two private vehicles, one belonging to a radio station that was covering the protests, according to images from local television.

That same Wednesday, Milei called the protesters “terrorists” and accused them of seeking to “perpetrate a coup” against him. He project was finally approved and sent to the Chamber of Deputies.

Although it was not the first protest with riots against the Milei government, it is the first time that the justice system has charged serious crimes against protesters, from inciting collective violence against institutions to crimes against Public Powers and the Constitutional Order. attack against authority and disturbance of order in sessions of legislative bodies.

The charges carry severe penalties, from nine years to life in prison.

The authorities also promoted civil actions against social and political organizations for the damage caused.

Relatives and human rights organizations described the arrests as “arbitrary” and that their objective is to intimidate those who oppose Milei’s liberal policies.

“I feel like they are trying to set a precedent so that people do not have the freedom to say what they think, so that we bow our heads. We are going back years of democracy, this cannot happen,” Grisel Lyardet, sister of Sasha, a 24-year-old student detained several blocks from Congress, told AP.

He reported that his sister “left the university and went to demonstrate peacefully at Congress Square. When the weather was getting tense, she left… A girl falls, she goes back to look for her and three motorcycles from the city police get on the sidewalk and grab her.”

“It is to scare us, so that people do not come out, so that people do not participate, so that they do not look to the side, so that they do not look at the other,” said Margarita Gómez, mother of Nicolás Mayorga, also a university student who remains detained.

“He told me: ‘Mom, I didn’t throw stones, I didn’t resist.’ He was like a student. He is not in a political organization, but in a neighborhood aid organization. And if he were in a political organization, it would not be a crime to protest to reject a law,” Gómez stressed.

Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channels Youtube, WhatsApp and to the newsletter. Turn on notifications and follow us on Facebook, x and instagram.

Source link