Argentina: An open letter against repression of the Mapuche

The below statement sees progressive groups explain how Argentine security services, which recently set up taskforce to tackle what they call the Mapuche Ancestral Resistance are deliberately conflating many different campaigns to justify political repression.

On December 27th a 180-page report entitled RAM, prepared by the Ministry of Security of the Nation in conjunction with the provincial governments of Río Negro, Neuquén and Chubut, was officially released and once again criminalised, demonised and persecuted the Mapuche peoples who organise and resist; along with left and anarchist social militants.

Through intentionally unfounded characterisations and based on elements of judicial investigations that have not yet been closed but are regardless presented as evidence of “violence and danger” of the so-called “RAM group,” the unforgiving fascist and Education Minister Esteban  Bullrich declares it is “a movement that promotes the insurrectionist struggle and that does not recognise the Argentine State nor the legislation of the provinces.”

This report links several groups as if they had some kind of direct relationship and as if, a priori, they had committed some crime when their only actions were to show solidarity in the face of the brutal repression of Mapuche communities that have already left a balance of two dead: Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel. In the Reference Report, 96 legal cases are linked from 2010 onwards, all open or even closed for lack of merit, and various popular rallies and public activities, as if they were developed as part of the framework of a campaign by this group they call RAM; confusingly mixing anarchist political organisations and alternative means of communication. These judicial assemblies were also driven by the State in Brazil, Spain and Chile towards libertarian sectors and other fighters.

The State, again, tries to demonise and divide diverse popular movements with the objective of creating an internal enemy, a scapegoat that justifies the vertiginous increase of repression against social protest before the permanent anti-popular measures that it carries out. They try to imply that criticising and organising against the unfair murders that their troopers caused is, in itself, a criminal act. It seems that solidarity with the Kurdish movement, which faces the worst of ISIS, implies terrorism. They want a national consensus that those who fight for better working conditions, or for education, or in solidarity for the rights of all, are criminals.

At the same time, as the State tries to soil the image of the Mapuche people, the report accuses them of “ethno-nationalists” for fighting against the historic colonialism that the Argentine and Chilean States unleashed on the indigenous peoples in campaigns of extermination and in the dispossession of territory, given without regard to powerful businessmen and international capitalists, hoping to sow confusion and reinforce existing racism. We reject, in all respects, the unfounded and malicious accusations of the Ministry of Security and the provincial governments of Chubut, Río Negro and Neuquén and we sympathise with the organisations and people from different sectors of the people mentioned above.

This report and its political intent is a trick of the government of Cambiemos in the face of enormous mobilisations linked to the disappearance and death of Santiago Maldonado, by the request of justice for the murder of Rafael Nahuel and for the legitimate self-defense that he exercised in this hot December and on the streets by the most vulnerable working people. Pensioners and women who receive the Universal Allowance for Children. Police left a balance of at least four popular activists with the loss of the vision of an eye. Where is the confrontation? It is what they bring us because they do not know how to deal with the dignified organisation and repudiation of their conduct by these peoples who, little by little, begin to say ¡Basta! and to put a brake on adjustment policies.

And this repressive plan goes hand-in-hand with the reforms package and the measures they’re taking to try and cheapen the workforce throughout the Latin American region.

The headline of the Report is that it suggests the “RAM” is guilty of violence, showing the August 1st solidarity actions for jailed Mapuche activist Facundo Jones Huala where they have a photo showing Santiago Maldonado. Also appearing as proof are photos of work tools such as saws, screwdrivers, stones — a gross mockery.

About the Report and who this aims to criminalise

Their list of people and organizations directly or indirectly involved with the RAM is long and tedious, outrageous because every day we put our strength to build a world where patriarchal, racist, capitalist injustice does not reign, extractivist, from the original communities as from piquetero, union, feminist, human rights, union, and social organisations.

To all the popular fighters we offer our solidarity against the government’s demonisation and we call on the social organisations to repudiate and stop this miserable scenario that they are preparing. As a way to contribute to the information, we disseminate what appears in the Ministry of Security’s Report:

Link

Freedom to Facundo Jones Huala!
Justice for Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel!
Up those who fight!

The Mapuche flag, pic by M MG

Signatories

Socialist Libertarian Action
Black Antenna
Solidaridad Obrera Trade Union Confederation (Spain)
CORREPI (Coordinator against police and institutional repression)
Popular Current Juana Azurduy
Current Grooves
CULTURAL POLITICAL SPACE EL CHURQUI * Víctor Choque Group (ATE) / Teaching Association La Bordó (SUTEBA) / Social and Political Front The Popular Gap / Power – Left Current
Anarchist Federation of Rosario
Libertarian Feminists of Insurgente de Olavarría
Social and Political Front The Gap:
Collective from the Foot (in La Brecha)
Social Current and Politics Marabunta
Front of Organizations in Struggle (FOL)
Let’s do the Impossible
Frente Popular Darío Santillán (FPDS)
Popular Front Darío Santillán National Current (FPDS-CN)
Left Latin American Socialist
Jose Luis Carretero (university professor, Spain)
The Culture of the Neighborhood
Moira Ivana Millan (Pillan Mahuiza Community)
MTD Aníbal Verón
Original Women for Good Living
MULCS (Movement for Latin American unity and social change)
OAC (Anarchist Organization of Córdoba)
Political Organization La Caldera
Social Political Organization SUBVERSION
Paloma Negra-Anarchist and feminist publication
Popular Power – Left Current
We will win – Workers’ Party

Adhesions:

Unite Collective Teachers Association – Garnet List
El Agite student group at the University of Moreno
Grouping of State “Luisa Lallana” in ATE
Assembly
Fracking-free Centennial Assembly
Association of former disappeared detainees (AEDD)
ASPUEL- Assembly in Solidarity with the Peoples in Struggle (Neuquén)
ATE CONICET
ATE from below
ATE UNCo
ATE Rosario
José Ingenieros Popular Library
CADH – Anti-repression and Human Rights Commission
National Campaign against violence against women
Center for Human Rights brothers Zaragoza
Historical Ceip (CEIPH)
Collective Andamio Libertario of Concepción del Uruguay (Entre Ríos)
La Minga Collective
CLT (Colectivo Libertario de Traslasierra) – Córdoba
Colectivo Libertario Gualeguaychú
Collective Subversiones
Santiago Maldonado Commission Barcelona
SYNTHON Internal Commission in SPIQyP – San Lorenzo
Solidarity Committee by Santiago Maldonado
Urban Mapuche Community Pillan Manke from the city of Olavarría
Counseling Pre and Post Abortion Kimelu-South Zone
Socialist Convergence of Combat
Union Political Current Breaking Chains
Overthrowing Roca
Berta Cáceres Popular Education School, Tucumán
Libertarian Space of Parana
Anarchist Social Space
Teacher Collective Meeting of the Province of Buenos Aires
Federation Libertarian Argentina (FLA)
Federation of Grassroots Organizations (FOB)
Popular Fair of Guaymallén. Mendoza
FAVRE- Family and Friends of Victims of the State Repression of Neuquén and Río Negro
HIJOS Bariloche
Young Precarious Scientists (JCP)
Internal board Infrastructure Ate
Insurgent Youth
Youth Guevarista
Insurgent Self-managed Space of Olavarría
Irma Caupan Perriot- Original Women for Good Living Bs As
Kuruf Editorial. Río Negro-Neuquén
The Student Commune of 41
Argentine League for the Rights of Man
La Toma, cultural and community center (Lomas de Zamora)
Movement You will not kill
University Movement of the Left (MUI)
MTR Bariloche (Movement Rebel Territory)
Independent Railway Women
Multisectorial against repression Bariloche
Multisectorial La Plata Berisso Ensenada
OIME Student, National University of Moreno
Oscar Cianio -Voces de los Muros
Communist Workers Party (PCT)
Radial Program “Against the Wall” Fm Comunitaria Aire Libre Daniel Berretoni
Regroup towards the PST
Resistance society La Plata
Various Resistance Society of Lomas de Zamora (FORA)
Workers of the Board of the Liberated in Fight
University from Below (UniDA)
Virginia Bolten Resistance Society


This is an edited machine translation of a statement sent in to Freedom on December 29th

Pic: A demonstrator kicks away tear gas during a solidarity rally with Mapuche hunger strikers in September 2017, by Sergio. Ariel Trangol, along with his three brothers Benito, Pablo and Alfredo refused food for 118 days having been jailed for more than a year without trial on charges of arson against an evangelical church. They had been detained under a dictatorship-era anti-terrorism law, a measure which was eventually dropped by Interior Minister Mario Fernandez.