Numerous testimonies prove cases of persecution based on trade union affiliation, political affiliation, race, trigger-happy police and torture in the province of Cambiemos(1)

By Ailín Bullentini

“Jujuy experiences an untold succession of attacks and persecution of social and political organizations,” concludes a recent report drawn up by human rights activists and national and provincial legislators about “the violations of democratic freedoms” in the territory governed by the radical(2) Gerardo Morales. The commission that drew up the report based it on complaints from citizens, trade unions and social movements from Jujuy, that “allowed them to verify” the “repressive situation and violation of democratic freedoms,” that that province experiences. The testimonies prove cases of persecution due to trade union affiliation, political affiliation, social movement affiliation (racial and environmental, among other causes), as well as reveal cases of trigger-happy police and torture inside police stations. The commission decided to share what they had seen and heard with an alert directed towards the rest of Argentina: “The government of Morales seeks to transform Jujuy into the national capital of repression and impunity. A laboratory, which, if successful, they will intend to implement on a national level.”

Some twenty something members of human rights organizations, national and provincial deputies of Jujuy, of different political colors came together earlier this past month in the provincial capital to listen to what persecuted acti

vists, laid off and suspended workers, mistreated and stigmatized young people had to say. There were members of CELS (link in English), of the Argentine League for Human Rights, of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights and the Association of Ex-Detained-Disappeared(3). Also in attendance were workers from the Center of Professionals for Human Rights, of the Coordination Against Police and Institutional Repression, of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights – La Matanza and of Justice Now!; of Mothers and Family Members of Ex-Political Prisoners of Jujuy, of the collective of Ex-Political Prisoners of Ledesma and of Ex-Prisoners of Libertador San Martín. Some of Milagro Sala’s lawyers participated, deputies and legislators from the national, local Frente de Izquierda, as well as the Frente de Izquierda (FIT)(4) of the province of Neuquen, from the Frente para la Victoria (FPV)(5) and of Peronismo para la Victoria(6),as well as the Frente Unidos y Organizados por la Soberanía Popular from Jujuy, which the Tupac Amaru(7) movement forms part of.

Trump and ClintonsI figured it was time to write a little bit about US politics (the big day is this coming Tuesday, after all), and especially this quite unprecedented 2016 election, and what the forecast is from here. I can only speak about Argentina specifically, but I’m sure that in other countries, things are pretty similar.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a panel put on by CLACSO (the Latin American Social Sciences Council) about the 2016 US presidential elections. I always love hearing about various aspects of the history and politics of the US from the perspectives of people here, and more often than not, I find myself agreeing with what they say (and, in this case, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed by their clear and accurate explanation of the extremely complex US electoral system). The speakers were all people who had a lot of familiarity with the US (you know how in the US, there’s “Latin American Studies”? Well, in Latin America, you have “United States Studies”), including the former ambassador to the US under the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. As I previously said, I found myself agreeing with basically everything that everyone had to say, including the polemical assertion that regardless of who wins (Trump or Clinton), things will be more or less the same for Latin America and Argentina.

3At first glance, the possible budget cuts in scientific research (most of which is funded by the government via CONICET, or the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, or by public universities, which also get their funding from the government) proposed by Argentina’s current right-wing government appear to be like budget cuts in scientificresearch in any other country. However, in Argentina, there is a very powerful political undertone to moves like this, which bring back memories of terrible times.

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