Human rights organizations denounce that Milagro Sala has been detained for six years without a final conviction

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of Milagro Sala’s arrest, the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) and Lawyers of Northwest Argentina for Human Rights and Social Studies (Andhes) recalled that the social leader and leader of the neighborhood organization Tupac Amaru “continues to be deprived of his liberty for a cause without a final conviction” in Jujuy, where since the inauguration of Gerardo Morales, the new president of the UCR, he faces a barrage of criminal charges.

“Six years after his deprivation of liberty, the cause of the protest that gave rise to his arrest is still pending oral trial and the persecution for this fact continues to this day. It is inadmissible that the exercise of freedom of expression in Argentina is subject to criminal prosecution. The preventive detention that weighs on her violates the guarantees of due process and the presumption of innocence”, expressed the organizations that last year denounced the Argentine State before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for a sum of violations of basic rights and guarantees. carried out by the judicial power of Jujuy and validated by action or omission by the Supreme Court of Justice.

Sala’s arrest occurred on January 16, 2016, a month after the assumption of Mauricio Macri as president and Morales as governor. Morales had announced his intention to force social organizations to re-register in a new registry of cooperatives and the Network of Social Organizations (RES), of which Sala was a member as a representative of Tupac, led a request for meetings with the governor to internalize about the new measures. “Morales’ refusal to establish dialogue and provide explanations led to social organizations starting a camp in protest in December 2015,” they recalled. Days later, he issued a decree that “suspended the legal status of those who remained in the place and established the loss of social rights for those who demonstrated there.”

As a result of this tightening, some organizations abandoned the camp, but Tupac Amaru kept it. “A whole series of criminalization measures fell on this organization, including the arrest of Milagro Sala,” they reviewed. On January 29, 2016, a judge ordered her release but “the same day, before she was released, her arrest was requested again for another reason. In this new investigation, she was accused of fraud to the detriment of the State, extortion and illicit association whose review has been, since March 2020, in the hands of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. It is for this case that even today he is serving a preventive detention at home, “they pointed out.

Together with the statement, CELS and Andhes released fragments of an interview with Sala in which he explains how “Justice runs over, goes over the laws”, recalls that he remains detained despite the fact that “there is no final conviction” and stresses that the harassment in Jujuy “happens not only to Milagro but to the whole world.”

“The campaign of stigmatization and discredit that Morales had initiated – even before being elected governor – was expanded by instrumentalizing the provincial judicial system for his political objectives. In this way, the provincial government unleashed a persecution against Milagro Sala: in a chained and overlapping manner, processes were initiated against her and others were even reopened in which she had been completely disassociated. All this in order to ensure their arrest and subsequent stay in a situation of preventive confinement”, Andhes and CELS highlighted, which since its birth during the last dictatorship has resorted to the inter-American system to try to guarantee rights subjugated by the State.

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