Argentina’s Minister of Women’s Affairs resigns following the arrest of pregnant and breastfeeding Mapuche suspects
Argentina’s Minister for Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, tendered her resignation on Thursday due to differences with the administration of President Alberto Fernández over the handling of Villa Mascardi’s crisis with the Mapuche community.
Gómez Alcorta spoke of “serious violations of the human rights of women detainees” during the deportation operation, despite announcements by Security Minister Aníbal Fernández that the judge had supervised the proceedings and that all assurances had been given to inmates.
Gómez Alcorta will be replaced by María Cristina Perceval, who reported to him as Secretary of Equality and Diversity Policies.
The outgoing minister, who in her private practice as a lawyer has had clients such as Milagro Sala de Jujuy – a social leader prosecuted for corruption – and the leader of the Mapuche Ancestral Resistance (RAM) Facundo Jones Huala, leaves her post less than one month before the XV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (RCRC) to be held from November 7 to 11 in Buenos Aires.
“The situation is extremely worrying. For more than 48 hours they detained 7 indigenous women, including a spiritual leader of the community,” Gómez Alcorta said Thursday morning.
After learning that women had been arrested, one of whom was 40 weeks pregnant, Gómez Alcorta actively intervened to guarantee the exercise of the human rights of the detained indigenous women “in view of the failure of the judiciary to respect the applicable legislation and international standards”. pacts to which the Argentine Republic is a party”.
She also denounced the transfer of 4 of the women to Ezeiza prison “1,500 kilometers from their homes, without having had contact with a lawyer, without having had contact with anyone. And the most serious thing is that even today we do not know what we are accusing them of, ”she said.
Gómez Alcorta’s statement came a day after the Coordination Committee of the Mapuche Parliament of Río Negro expressed its dissatisfaction: “There has been no intervention from the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity of the Nation , nor of the Senaf (National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Families) concerning the situation of detained babies.
The women arrested by federal forces were transferred on Tuesday to Bariloche airport and then to Ezeiza, presumably on the orders of judge María Silvina Domínguez. Martha Luciana Jaramillo, Andrea Despo, Florencia Melo and Débora Vera were transferred to Buenos Aires, on the pretext that Bariloche does not have a federal detention center.
Meanwhile, Betiana Ayelén Colhuan and María Celeste Ardaiz Guenumil, who have babies a few months old and who are breastfeeding, remain in Bariloche, although the judge initially ordered their transfer to another prison in Buenos Aires. Both will continue to be held at the local airport security police headquarters.
Romina Rosas, who was 40 weeks pregnant, was admitted to the city’s regional hospital.