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March 26, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017

Argentina in brief

Corrientes mayor arrested on drug charges
Following the arrest of the mayor and deputy mayor of Itatí on drug charges this week, the Corrientes provincial legislature has taken the first steps to place the municipality in trusteeship in light of the lack of its leadership.
Mayor Natividad ‘Roger‘ Terán and his deputy Fabio Aquino as well as 23 other people were arrested on Tuesday of this week as part of an investigation into drug trafficking. They have now been transferred to Buenos Aires City by the Border Guard for interrogation. Terán and the others were arrested as part of a series of raids in Corrientes and other provinces and the Border Guard has explained that they are still looking for some fugitives. The only minor arrested in the operation has declared that he is innocent.
Terán is expected to testify today, on charges that he participated in a network that trafficked marijuana and cocaine from Paraguay by way of the Paraná river.
Also among those arrested is the head of police of Itatí, Diego Osvaldo Ocampo Alvarenga and two local police officers. Mariela Terán, the daughter of the mayor, was taken into custody last month.


UN expert commends Argentine laws, urges action to stop attacks on LGBT people

Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN’s Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), has praised Argentina’s normative framework to prevent attacks due to sexual orientatino or gender identity but also urged the government to do more.
After visiting Argentina, Muntarbhorn, said “there is a national policy on sexual diversity and various State agencies have special units and/or personnel to deal with the issue, and this is very welcome.”
He also welcomed a law on gender identity entitling people to have their self-perceived gender identity recognized without needing gender reassignment surgery or judicial authorization, a law recognising same sex marriage and another on comprehensive sex education which aims to foster understanding of sexual diversity from an early age.
However, Mr. Muntarbhorn found that “institutional violence is pervasive in Argentina, historically deep rooted in society and lies at the heart of the problem of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A major dilemma is impunity for perpetrators compounded by difficulties facing victims and survivors who try to access the justice system.”
Mr Muntarbhorn called on Argentina to reform laws and policies which might lead to violence and discrimination, and to prevent laws on public decency and anti-drugs measures from being used to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Human rights delegation to Malvinas calls for identification of unknown soldiers
Memory (CPM) formed by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nora Cortiñas and Father José María Di Paola visited the Darwin Cemetery in the Malvinas Islands, where they paid tribute to the Argentine soldiers who fell in the 1982 war. The committee also called for the identification of the 123 non-identified tombs.
In the cemetery, located some 10 kilometres away from Puerto Argentino the social and human rights leaders this week marked the unidentified tombs with a sign that reads: “Identity to the 123 NN Memory, truth, justice and sovereignty.”
This way, the CPM expressed its support for the “fight for the right to identity of the soldiers who fell in the war 35 years ago.” The CPM also supported the identification tasks to be carried out in June by a humanitarian mission from the Red Cross International Committee, after an agreement signed between the Argentine and British governments.
“This is a sacred place for us. These young people who found their death here are light and they turn into a challenge. We ask them to give us strength to do the best for our country so that human rights be respected,” expressed “Pepe” Di Paola, who held a mass in the graveyard at Darwin.

— Herald with agencies
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