The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States demanded that the government of Argentina's President Mauricio Macri respond to the human rights violations of several members of the Mapuche community, Pu Lof de Cushamen following the disappearance of activist Santiago Maldonado.
The commission considered the complaint made by the Pu Lof de Cushamen group to be extremely serious and deserving of an immediate response from the Argentine Government.
"We denounce the aggravations and humiliations experienced by members of the Pu Lof de Cushamen and the Lof Vuelta del Rio by state forces under the guise of a criminal investigation. Their rights to human dignity, physical, mental and moral integrity have been violated," said attorneys Fernando Cabaleiro and Carlos "Chuzo" Gonzalez, of the NGO Nature of Rights.
A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 26, where government officials will present their arguments followed by two members of the Mapuche community, Maldonado's family and his lawyer, Veronica Heredia.
During the disappearance of Maldonado, on Aug. 1, in the province of Chubut, several Mapuche representatives were bound and arbitrarily detained for more than 12 hours, in the midst of an operation of 400 troops of the GEOP (Special Police Operations Group).
"These grave events occur in the framework of a campaign of persecution, harassment, and discrimination against the Mapuche community in the Argentine South by the Argentine government with the complicity of the mass media, falsely accusing them of terroristic acts or attempts at destabilizing democratic processes," said Mapuche activist Moira Millan, adding that "the Mapuche were attacked, humiliated and detained without cause while in their ancestral territory."