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  • A Mapuche activist is detained during a protest in support of Santiago Maldonado.

    A Mapuche activist is detained during a protest in support of Santiago Maldonado. | Photo: Reuters

The demonstration has been taking part in conjunction with rallies calling for the return of activist Santiago Maldonado.

Argentina's Indigenous Mapuche community has been mobilizing en masse, rallying in the streets of the country’s capital to call for an end to state repression.

Despite decades of resistance, the people are still struggling to claim their lands and have their ancestral rights recognized by the government.

RELATED: 
Indigenous Mapuche Ramp Up Resistance in Argentina and Chile

Members of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine women whose children disappeared during the nation's military dictatorships, have also joined in the march. They met with delegates from the Mapuche villages and pledged to add their voices to the campaign.

Sergio Nahuelquin, a Mapuche representative, and a spokesman and member of the Pu Lof Resistance in Cushamen, Esquel, said: "We need to recover the territory that belongs to us.”

"An international body is needed. The state at 1 month cannot solve this problem" - Sergio Nahuelquin, Mapuche #SantiagoMaldonado 

Earlier this month, jailed Mapuche leader, Jones Huala, who has been detained since May 27 in Esquel Jail in the province of Chubut, said the core of the conflict is the "non-recognition by the Argentine state of the ancestral possession of (Mapuche) lands and of the international principle of the self-determination.”

The Indigenous leader affirmed that community's struggle derives "from poverty, discrimination and state violence, encouraging a generation of young Mapuche to organize a resistance that responds to the historical violence of the Argentine state.”

RELATED: 
Argentina Rallies for Return of Santiago Maldonado, One Month After He Disappeared

The demonstration coicided with rallies calling for the return of activist Santiago Maldonado, who disappeared during a military police raid on a Mapuche resistance protest one month ago.

Several human rights organizations have blasted the government of Mauricio Macri, alleging officials know where Maldonado is.

The activist's relatives accuse the authorities of allowing the police to forcibly remove him during a protest at the Indigenous Pu Lof Mapuche community in the Chubut department of Cushamen on August 1.

The government denies any involvement.


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