NiUnaMenos and other feminist organizations in Argentinean Patagonia met last week at a large assembly in El Bolsón, near the snow-covered Andean mountain range. The buzzwords of the day — #NuestrosCuerpos, #NuestrosTerritorios and “Where is Santiago Maldonado?” — highlight the growing confusion in the region. And, sadly, the Italian entrepreneur Luciano Benetton plays a central role.
The forced disappearance of Maldonado, an Argentine backpacker supportive of indigenous rights, took place during the state police suppression of a road block carried out by the mapuche community Aug. 1. The young man was attending. The case made international headlines, and its repercussions have far surpassed the Macri government’s intention to silence Santiago.
The case is related to an ongoing land dispute that has long been associated with the militarization of the area. The blockade had been organized to protest the arrest of mapuche leader Facundo Jones Huala, of Pu Lof en Resistencia Cushamen (Chubut province).