As the search for missing artisan Santiago Maldonado intensifies and the national government scrambles to find him, his personal information has now been added on the Interpol website in an international effort to locate him.
Maldonado’s personal information has been added to the international organization’s official website where he is featured as a missing person. The artisan and activist went missing after allegedly being arrested by Border Patrol officials in Chubut on August 1st, where he was attending a protest by the Mapuche community.
Sixteen days later, Santiago remains missing and the pressure on the national government to make some progress in the investigation of his disappearance is increasing.
Yesterday afternoon, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich appeared before the Senate, where she grilled for hours as senators in the opposition questioned the way the administration is handling the situation. Bullrich insists the investigation continues and that, despite witnesses saying he was taken, there is no evidence that the Border Patrol ever came close to him. In fact, Bullrich said she would stand by the security forces and that she wanted to obtain more information about the case before making officers responsible.
The reason why this case resonates so much with the population is because it is a painful reminder of a long gone era in which the armed forces, operating under a dictatorship, would be responsible for “disappearing” people. Back in the 1970s, common citizens would be arrested and never heard from again. It was only years later that it was proven that they were being systematically killed.
In the meantime, Human Rights organizations from all over the country continue to gather in Buenos Aires and around the country, calling for Maldonado’s safe return.