Though Kirchner’s campaign for PASO, the Argentine primaries, starts tomorrow on July 14, she’s been doing the footwork for weeks. Yesterday morning she spoke on the phone with Milagro Sala, the controversial and imprisoned social leader of the Tupac Amaru Community Organization. In January last year, Sala was detained after violating zoning regulations during a protest and was placed in “preventive custody” until formal corruption charged were filed with the courts. She remains in the women’s prison of Alto Comedero in the province of Jujuy though the courts have not found her guilty of the charges against her to date. Her detention has captured the attention of multiple human rights groups and the United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
— Prensa Tupac (@PrensaTupac) July 12, 2017
According to Infobae, Kirchner and Sala did not disclose the details of their conversation, although they had remained in contact before. Kirchner openly supports Sala, claiming that the detainee is a political prisoner. Last year, Sala said the two were persecuted like Eva and Peron.
Earlier this year, the former Argentine president released a video on Twitter in which political leaders associated with Kirchnerism displayed half their face with that of Sala’s, and at the end of the video declared: “We are all Milagro.”
The name of the Tupac Amaru Community Organization gets its name from the indigenous leader of the anti-colonialist rebellion of Peru in the 16th century. The group claims to advocate for women and minorities in addition to providing resources for people in informal sectors unprotected by the state, distinguishing itself from many other populist organizations.
Tomorrow at 6 pm, Kirchner will launch her PASO campaign at the Roxy Theater in the Mar de Plata, where she will give a speech to what is expected to be a large crowd of supporters. Most political analysists her expect to strike a personal tone with union workers, minorities, and the unemployed, in line with Tupac Amaru’s demographic and Kirchner’s populist platform.