As the inter-American system prepares itself to confront the grim truth of the outcome of Santiago Maldonado’s disappearance, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that he will be returned to his loved ones without bearing signs of extreme violence. Maldonado’s case will almost certainly become a public and inoperable problem for the Argentine authorities, who initially denied the basic facts of his disappearance. It harkens back to an era of gross human rights violations—when upwards of 35,000+ citizens disappeared in a cloud of suspicion and secrecy. The Argentine authorities come forth with disingenuous statements about the horrible occurrences in Venezuela, and yet, in their own backyard, peaceful protestors can be abducted with impunity. It is imperative that Argentina ensures that the structure of justice remains in place, and that the state does not keep on with the semblance of justice, when Maldonado’s disappearance reveals it to be a pretense.
Director Larry Birns
Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)