From 25 January to 4 February was an international week of mobilizations called by IFA-IAF (International of Anarchist Federations) in solidarity with the struggle of the indigenous people Mapuche who are under suppressive attacks by the Argentinian state. During these attacks the anarchist comrade Santiago Maldonado and the youth Mapuche fighter Rafael Nahuel were murdered.
In this context, the Anarchist Political Organization – Federation of Collectives member of IFA-IAF, realized actions in Greece in response to the call. On Wednesday 31 January, comrades of the Athens regional coordination of the Organization made a protest at the embassy of Argentina, while on Friday 2 February a counter-information action by the anarchist group “Disinios Ippos” member of A.P.O. together with other comrades took place at a Benetton branch in Patras.
The following statement is endorsed by the International of Anarchist Federations
HONOR TO THE ANARCHIST COMRADE SANTIAGO MALDONADO WHO WAS ABDUCTED AND MURDERED BY THE ARGENTINIAN STATE
On 1st August 2017, in the province of Chubut in the Argentinian Patagonia, a community of the Mapuche indigenous people, together with people in solidarity with them, blocked a street in the area near Benetton’s headquarters, in protest against the acquisition of the Mapuche territory by the company. Police forces attacked the demonstration with gunshots while the protesters were trying to defend themselves.
During the police operation, the anarchist activist Santiago Maldonado was arrested, forced violently into a white van – witnessed by many people – and abducted, since from that point on he went missing. Two months later, his body was found in a river in Patagonia, a brutal reminder of the 30,000 people who were “disappeared” during the Junta period, an enduring mark in Argentinian history preserved in collective memory in a way similar to nazi crimes.
The comrade’s abduction had triggered a large number of dynamic mobilizations throughout Argentina, demanding Santiago’s return. Meanwhile, the state, the police and the media engaged in a campaign aiming to criminalize the resisting Mapuche community and the anarchists and denied any responsibility for the comrade’s abduction, while focusing their propaganda on conspiracy theories around the comrade’s disappearance or on targeting all those who stand against the bosses’ plans, and especially the anarchists, as the “internal enemy” and a threat to the state.
The indigenous Mapuche communities – in Chile and Argentina- are struggling to defend their territory from the plundering and destruction brought upon them by the large multinational corporations which are granted with these lands by the state. These are the same territories that the state had seized from the indigenous people through a series of wars and genocides since the time of the “conquest” of the American continent. In their struggle, they have faced the persecutions, the imprisonments and the violence of both the repression mechanisms and the parastatal gangs which operate on behalf of the bosses on both sides of the Andes. In Chubut, a large part of the Mapuche communities claim their territories, now owned by Benetton, which is only 1/3 of the total 900,000 hectares they have bought throughout the country.
Santiago was murdered because, as an anarchist, he chose to stand up and fight on the side of indigenous people, he chose to stand by the side of the exploited against the torturers and murderers of the repression forces, against the destructive and antisocial plans of the state and economic elites.
Rafael Nahuel was a young person of Mapuche descent and a member of a collective called Coletivo Al Margen. He took part in protests in defence of the Mapuche people. On the 25th November 2017, the day of the burial of Santiago Maldonado, the police force mounted an eviction in Mapuche territory. The people there were shot with lead and rubber bullets and pepper sprayed. A woman and Rafael Nahuel were both shot with lead bullets. The woman survived, but Rafael was killed.
Comrades Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel will be present in the ongoing struggles in every corner of the earth as all those who gave their lives fighting for a free and just world without inequality, exploitation and repression…
-with our comrades in Argentina who are resisting to the repression of the Argentinian state
-with the Mapuche communities and with all the indigenous people who are defending their land from the exploitation of the modern conquistadores of Benetton.