The top presidential candidates have yet to back a human rights pledge with Amnesty International because they supposedly haven’t found the time to sign the document. Or so they say.
According to The Buenos Aires Herald, Victory Front’s (FpV) Daniel Scioli, Cambiemos’ Mauricio Macri and A New Alternative’s (UNA) Sergio Massa have held off on signing the document, entitled “Public Commitment,” in which would pledge their support for the following nine key human rights issues:
1) Prison abuse
2) The continuation of trials for crimes committed during the dictatorship
3) Indigenous rights
4) Freedom of expression
5) Gender-based violence
6) Reproductive rights
7) Migration rights
8) The promotion of international justice
9) Human rights in foreign policy
Scioli and Massa’s campaign representatives vowed that the candidates would sign the document — but the document has been in their hands since before the August 9th primaries.
Amnesty International Argentina head Mariela Belski expressed her concern over how little the leading candidates have discussed their commitment to human rights.
“We don’t know anything about Scioli’s position on typically Kirchnerite issues such as the ‘memory, truth and justice’ trials [of dictatorship-era crimes] or on gender equality. We have no idea what Macri’s public policy in the city is and we only know that Massa has some questions regarding gender-based violence because his wife has said so,” she said.
It’s like a friend who owes another friend money: the former is probably going to pay… but it’s been over two months now, which is problematic for the latter because she wants to donate to a human rights fund. Macri is coming off like that friend who just isn’t going give that money back, especially after an anonymous campaign official claimed the candidate has no intention of signing the document.
Amnesty International acknowledged the difference between refusing to sign the document and not supporting human rights. Still, pledging support for the human rights issues does not hold any candidate as a binding contract would – it just means that if elected, Amnesty International would publicly monitor that commitment.
The human rights organization tailors documents like this one for various countries as elections near.
Reproductive rights, specifically the decriminalization of abortion, have been a controversial issue in Argentina and could affect a candidate’s shot at hosting an episode of Cribs from the Casa Rosada.
Candidates Nicolas del Caño of the Workers’ Leftist Front (FIT) and Progresive’s Margarita Stolbizer have pledged their commitment to a number of the human rights issues on the document.
Guido Carlotto, Buenos Aires province human rights secretary, assured that Scioli of course intends to sign the document but reminded everyone that the candidate hasn’t been able to pencil in a time.
Sebastián Galmarini, a provincial legislator and Massa’s brother-in-law, said the same thing, though it may have just been to score some points at the next family event.
At least the elections are far enough away so that knowing where a candidate falls on enormous human rights issues won’t be a problem. Scratch that, elections are in less than a month.