Julio López
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Santa cruz: at least 40 new political prisoners in Caleta Olivia
Por translation: mark - Monday, Oct. 04, 2004 at 3:00 PM

Saturday 2nd of October The number of detained fighters reaches 51 With the new repression of yesterday, the number of detained in Caleta Olivia, in Santa Cruz has reached 51. Six people have been sentenced to preventive imprisonment and have been imprisoned since September, after the protests that were carried out some weeks before in the Municipality and in the tanques of Terminales Marítimas Patagónicas (Termap). Five other women -one of them pregnant- were taken to the police station the day before yesterday for climbing up the tanques again. Yesterday another forty were added to the list, after the forceful eviction of Termap and the ruta 3 roadblock. The original demand was for genuine work. Added to that, they are now demanding the freedom of the prisoners and the fulfilling of the agreement signed by the provincial authorities that assured jobs that so far still do not exist.

Repressive escalation

The information is, still, somewhat dispersed and diffuse, but what is clear is that in Caleta Olivia there has been an escalation in repression: yesterday in the early morning people who since the night of September 30 have protested in the playa de tanques of the petroleum consortium Termap and also blockaded ruta, were forcibly evicted. There are around 40 newly detained, distributed in Army dependencies of Comodoro Rivadavia, in the police stations of Caleta Olivia and –according to some versions– also in those of Cañadón Seco.

In this operation –the second in the last two days- the Police of Santa Cruz Province took part, together with the special riot section of the General Acha, La Pampa Gendarmería National, that stayed in Caleta, after the repression of the 3rd and 4th of September, that left 60 demonstrators processed and 6 imprisoned, with preventive imprisonment: Elsa Orozco, Selva Sánchez, Marcela Sandra Constancio, Mauricio Perancho, Federico Mansilla, y Hugo Iglesias.

"We don’t have so much information because the people who notified us, stopped calling", stated Iglesias during the telephone call from lavaca. "Prove it with these telephone numbers", he said and read out the numbers.

Those who were called were some of the demonstrators that two days ago had returned to climb the tanques of Termap. The first night they were repressed by security personnel hired by the tankers, who soaked them for hours. And five women were detained. To them were added the 40 of the second night.

The first news of the new detentions coincided with the march organized in Comodoro Rivadavia for the disappearance of Iván Torres, who a while ago was taken to the main police station of the city and since then nothing more has been heard from him. Nora Cortiñas was there from the Línea fundadora of the Madres (mothers) of Plaza de Mayo, as were the MPs (government representatives) Patricia Walsh and Luis Zamora who decided to go to Caleta to give a press conference and to denounce the recent events.

The situation becomes evermore entangled, as much for those already imprisoned as for the newly detained, for whom –by all accounts- the judicial mechanics applied with the first imprisoned will be repeated: massive detentions, gradual release, but leaving a few prisoners with so many accusations that release is impossible.

Not a single person reply to the phone number read out from the jail. "Now we can confirm it “–explained Iglesias, a while later- “they’ve been detained”.

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