A month without Santiago. A month since he was disappeared by democracy. He did not “fade” as Clarín said, neither did he took a vacation to Entre Ríos, as the media pretended. He was last seen forced into a National Gendarmerie truck, in the midst of the repression to Pu Lof Cushamen, a Mapuche community, in Chubut. The government responds with shameful campaigns to deviate the attention and criminalize him and the Mapuches that were repressed. Today more than ever we have to mobilize for Santiago’s appearance, and for the ones responsible to pay for this.
After three weeks, the Justice had to change the label of the cause 8232/2017 to “forced disappearance” because of the enormous pressure of popular solidarity and Maldonado family’s fight. Two witnesses declared to have seen when he was forced into the Unimog of Gendarmerie in the same place where his cap was found, and recently a video was diffused that proves that he was there at the moment of the repression. Also, a rope, hair, and blood were found at the Squad 35 of National Gendarmerie (GNA). Over the last days, 65 phones and computers of gendarmes that participated in the operation were requisitioned.
The government is responsible: Bullrich has to resign
The Minister of Security of Macri’s government, Patricia Bullrich, is the one responsible for the action of Gendarmerie on the afternoon that Santiago was disappeared. Since then, every public appearance of her has been to deviate the investigation and defend the GNA. The government is trying to impose the idea that the fight for Santiago’s appearance is a K campaign [of Kirchnerismo] and so they try to elude their responsibility. They came to the ridiculous comparison of having “their own disappeared one”, the police officer Alvarenga – which was later found betting in Palermo Racetrack.
The media made echo of the delusional speech that the Mapuches are being financed from England, repeating the name of “terrorists”. Lanata even compared them to ISIS, in an interview with the Mapuche leader Jones Huala (where he left the journalist in a very difficult stand, by the way). Everything is worth to try to save the government from what can be a fatal wound. Bullrich failed and said that there is “the group that wants to find Maldonado and the group of us who do not want to find him.” This clown cannot stay in office any longer! Bullrich has to leave, and she must be investigated. The leaders of the GNA have to be suspended and investigated. All responsible ones must go to jail!
The cry for Santiago is loud and clear
The disappearance of Santiago Maldonado became part of every home and workplace, even despite the campaign against, including the persecution of the teachers that debated this with their students. The necessity of talking about it and demanding his appearance crowded the social media with thousands of people repeating a message: Where is Santiago? As well as a lot of people demanding Bullrich’s resignation. Soccer teams before the matches raising flags for Santiago, as well as rock bands asking for him at their shows. Personalities, famous people, and musicians like Ismael Serrano are replicating the message. In Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, and several other countries, there were demonstrations, actions, and messages for Santiago’s appearance. The workers and people want to know where is Santiago, and we want the ones responsible for disappearing him as if we were in a dictatorship to pay for this.
To move Heaven and Earth
The massive unitary demonstrations for Santiago are the first step of a long way to go. The giant solidarity expressed in banners, posters, and messages has to be turned into a tool for struggle. The CGT, which denounced his disappearance during the action of the 22nd, in Plaza de Mayo, has the obligation of calling for a national strike and plan of struggle before this fact. The CGT, CTA, CTERA (which campaigned in the schools), AGTSyP, and several other Federations calling to march and diffusing the search for Santiago have in their hands the possibility of calling strikes and actions to go all the way until we find Santiago, to make Bullrich and the GNA leaders to resign, and to make all the ones responsible to pay for what they did.
We have to organize to participate in the rally of September 1st, and demand from the Federations to embrace the national and international campaign already taking place; to gather signatures and pronunciations, to paint walls, to organize committees at workplaces to continue the diffusion of Santiago’s disappearance until he is back. Enough truce for Macri’s government. The Unions have to call a general strike.
 Jorge Lanata, famous and controversial political journalist.
 We will update the news on this during this week.