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  • Milagro Sala, the leader of the Tupac Amaru social welfare group, gestures during her trial in San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina, December 28, 2016. Picture taken on December 28, 2016.

    Milagro Sala, the leader of the Tupac Amaru social welfare group, gestures during her trial in San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina, December 28, 2016. Picture taken on December 28, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

In her court hearing, Sala said "I am defending the country - stop killing my Mapuche brothers and sisters.” 

Argentine human rights activist and Indigenous leader of the Tupac Amaru Organization, Milagro Sala, gave her statement at a hearing in an Argentine court after being held for several months as a political prisoner. She was arrested for supposedly "threatening" the government. 

RELATED: 
IACHR Requests Humane House Arrest for Argentina's Milagro Sala

Sala said I am “defending the country - stop killing my Mapuche brothers and sisters.” 

She was arrested on Jan. 16, 2016, accused of "inciting criminal acts" linked to a protest she led against authorities. The northern Argentine Jujuy provincial government then broadened the charges against Sala, alleging she helped Tupac Amaru "embezzle public funds" meant for the construction of housing for low-income people.

Sala has denied any wrongdoing and instead accuses the state of targeting her and others for their role in fighting for Indigenous land rights. She proclaimed at the hearing, “I’ve come for my sentencing,” after being under pretrial detention, revolving between house arrest and prison since last January. She's currently in jail.

Sala added that the Jujuy Governor Gerardo Morales is targeting for investigation for being "Black and Indigenous."

On Thursday, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requested that the Argentine government return Sala to house arrest because her safety, “life, personal integrity and health” are in danger.
 
The IACHR and other human rights organizations gave the government until Dec. 15 to comply with the request. 


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