Raqqa, Syria: IRPGF Statement on the Forced Disappearance of the Argentinian Anarchist Comrade Santiago Maldonado

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September 1st. A month ago and we still do not know anything about the whereabouts of the anarchist comrade Santiago Maldonado. The days pass, and spring is approaching in the Pampean region. Everything is warm in spring, but our days are dark with anguish, pain and uncertainty. We know nothing of comrade Santiago’s whereabouts, but the Argentinian state knows a lot.

On August 1st, in the town of Pu Lof de Cushamen (Province of Chubut) Argentina during a violent, repressive operation of the National Gendarmerie, at the order of security ministry chief Pablo Noceti, against a Mapuche manifestation demanding liberation of political prisoners, Santiago Maldonado was kidnapped by the State. This occured in the context of a systematic repression by the Argentine and Chilean states against the Mapuche people who have been fighting for centuries for their territorial claims. As a reply to these claims, the Argentine and Chilean states violently repress every legitimate protest of the Mapuche people against their marginalization.

But behind this violent action on the part of the state hides the economic interests of entrepreneurs landowners and ranchers who invade and exploit the Mapuche territory. Among them the Benetton family, the Lewis family, and the Sociedad Rural Argentina and others. The Argentinian and Chilean states, as could not be otherwise, protect the interests and benefits of the businessmen who plunder Patagonia and strip the native peoples of their lands.

After the repression, Pablo Noceti, an adviser to the national security minister Patricia Bullrich (his accomplice) and former defense lawyer of genocides during the last Argentine military dictatorship, declared in the bourgeois press that he did not participate in the violent operation. Nevertheless the facts contradict him and the evidence proves that he is a liar and cynic.

Noceti, instead of responding to his responsibility, confined himself to defaming the comrade kidnapped in his repressive operation. Also, cynically and infamously charged against the Mapuche people and all those who resist the repression, are allegations that there in the Mapuche territory is operating an armed guerrilla group which is said to have supposed links with foreign popular militias such as the FARC, ETA, IRA and the PKK. While the pro-government press makes a lot of effort to divert attention, the minister Patricia Bullrich is backing up these ridiculous fake versions with the expectation of putting the focus of discussion elsewhere.

Faced with these delusional accusations, we want to make clear that neither the PKK, nor “Kurdish extremists” (logically, in quotation marks) have any links with any Mapuche guerrilla group and their accusations are unfounded. In fact, there is no Mapuche guerrilla group. Those accusations are just fantasies of the Argentine state to invent an enemy which justifies its aggression against the Mapuche people. The fake guerrilla group they claim, are really a Mapuche resistance group that defends itself with totally rudimentary weapons against the repression by the armed forces of the Argentine state.

With the kidnapping of Santiago Maldonado, the Argentinian state sends a concrete message: any gesture of solidarity with a people or an oppressed group will be repressed. The Argentine state, with incompetent Mauricio Macri at the head, intensified its offensive against both the native peoples and the working class. Its government is characterized by its neo-liberal economic measures, which are against the working class, and by the incentive of massive layoffs to reduce costs for the capitalists. This year also saw violent repression against the working class, specifically against the PepsiCo workers who protested in their factories. Solidarity will not be crushed, when more of the oppressed are united as we shall be. We will be your worst nightmare. More and more comrades like Santiago will come to the struggle and you can not disappear us all.

We also want to reiterate, as anarchists, our rejection of the electoralist and opportunist use of the kidnapping of the comrade Santiago by sectors of Kirchnerism and the defenders of the previous government that was not different from the current one in the framework of the repression against workers and native peoples. From here we tell you that our comrades who are victims of the state, do not fit on your ballots.

Argentina is again going through dark times, such as the Infamous Decade or the last military dictatorship, State terrorism is still present in “democracy.” Like Penina, Miguel Arcangel Roscigna and Juan Antonio Morán in the 1930’s during the fascist dictatorship of Uriburu. Like the Tello brothers, Elsa Martinez of Resistencia Libertaria and all those who were disappeared for resisting the liberal dictatorship of the military junta headed by Videla in the 1970’s. In Argentina forced disappearances by the repressive forces of the state have returned once again, in spite of the Argentine people’s call for “Nunca Más” (Never Again).

We, anarchists in armed struggle against the fascism of Daesh (ISIS), express our full solidarity with the Mapuche people and join in their historical territorial claims and their legitimate right to self-determination and autonomy. We make a comparison in their struggle with the Kurdish people who also were (and are) oppressed by the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi states but nonetheless remain in resistance against the oppression. The same happens with the native peoples of southern Latin America who are oppressed by the Argentine and Chilean states.

From here, in the city of Raqqa in Syria, we, anarchists in the IRPGF fighting against the fascism of Daesh, send our message of love and solidarity to the family of Santiago, their friends and all those who knew him and today suffer the anguish and the pain of not knowing where they have their loved one. From here we also ask the Argentine terrorist state, Where is Santiago Maldonado? It is enough to cover up the repressors and to exonerate themselves from guilt. The state is responsible. We send this message to the world so that it knows that the Argentine terrorist state disappears those who seek freedom. Alive they took him and we want him back alive.

We want Santiago Maldonado to appear, alive!

They can not kill our solidarity. Long live the struggle of the Mapuche people.

Victory to the struggle of the anarchists in South America.

To the barricades. No pasarán!

International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces – IRPGF

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