A Jujuy judge has ordered that Milagro Sala be returned to house arrest, roughly two months after she was brought back to the Alto Comedero prison. The decision comes soon after a Supreme Court decision that ruled that Sala shouldn’t be held in prison before trial, in accordance with an earlier finding by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The Supreme Court however did not find that Sala should be freed.
Judge Pablo Pullen Llermanos said that he had ordered that Sala be transferred to El Carmen, where had been serving house arrest up till mid-October. As such, Sala will have similar conditions to the previous house arrest. Llermanos suggested that the electronic ankle bracelet to track Sala’s movements would not be necessary as there was no flight risk. Border Guards will control the perimeter to the building, which is not Sala’s primary residence.
Sala’s legal team was nonetheless critical of the terms of Llermanos’ resolution, saying that it showed a “judge that doesn’t understand his attributions and who also doesn’t understand the structure of law. Pullen Llermanos must not interpret what was ordered by the Inter-American Court and ratified by the Supreme Court.”
Sala had already been granted house arrest in August, also following a request from the IACHR. Back then the court, which considers her arrest is arbitrary overall, had suggested to adopt “alternative measures” to her detention. However, the judge revoked the benefit less than two months later, arguing she had broken the imposed rules to her arrest by – allegedly – refusing to undergo medical checks. The Supreme Court unanimously determined she no longer be held in prison, although rejected the argument about her arrest being arbitrary.
[AHORA] Milagro Sala ya fue trasladada del penal de mujeres al inmueble en El Carmen
— Prensa Tupac (@PrensaTupac) December 15, 2017
On January 16th 2016, Jujuy police arrested Milagro Sala for “instigating criminal activity and disorder” after setting up camp in front of the province’s government building demanding that the new government — led by Governor Gerardo Morales, a long-standing political enemy of Sala’s — continue providing funds to her social organization, the Tupac Amaru.
Although she was cleared of the initial charges a few days after the events took place, Sala has remained in custody since. Further accusations — of fraud and extortion — were brought against her while she was in prison due to the original charges.