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The first crime against humanity

The first crime against humanity in Argentina's history was executed in the first government of Perón, in Formosa, against the Pilagá community.

The worst thing about us

The chronicles of the time speak of an armed indigenous  uprising  . A malon of Pilagá Indians attacking the village of Las Lomitas, assaulting the population with firearms, and even murdering a Christian woman. The real story is far from that chronicle written by the “white man”. The truth of the facts tells how hundreds of Pilagá families were victims of the first crime against humanity in Argentina.

The truth is that in 1947, hundreds of pilagá worked in the sugar mill San Martín del tabacal. Property of the Patrón Costa. The community was again and again exploited and scammed by ingenuity. You don't know why, but they had the bad idea of getting together at La Bomba, near  Las Lomitas  and the 18 National Gendarmerie Squadron. Maybe his idea was just to listen to the healer known as Tonkiet. To heal, precisely. To find some relief. Man read the Bible to them and convey to them the  word  of God. Apparently, of political vocation, man had nothing.

But someone saw a danger in this congregation. Surely, he's been the commander of the Gendarmerie squadron. The thing is that, among the gendarmes and officials of the Aborigen Protection Directorate, they tried to evict them. The pilagá refused. No one saw that refusal coming, many described it as an attack on the established order. The uniformed men thought that the situation could not be left like this, that it was obligatory to do something and when I say something I speak of an exemplifying punishment.

First, President  Perón  sent three railway wagons loaded with tents, clothes and food. Well start, out of the 3, 2 came and the food was in bad shape. The result was many deaths from poisoning. Some survivors suggest that the food actually came from the Las Lomitas warehouses and that they were poisoned, by the way, with Gamexane, a powerful rat poison.

Apparently, the number of dead from poisoning was not as desired. In an atrocious way the gendarmes hoped to decimate the will be stabbed without having to move a finger, it didn't go as they wanted and that led them to do worse things. On 10 October, Gendarmerie troops attacked the crowd with rifles and machine guns. A real massacre, which continued with a persecution down the mountain, a persecution that spread for weeks. The  women  captured were raped. Men and boys, executed. A few pilagá were saved. Fortunately or by the hand of that God they were going to hear with Tonkiet, they were relocated to Aboriginal colonies and subjected them to work as pawns. Surely, from the harvest. The same place they were trying to escape when they listened to their healer read the Bible.

In 2005, the Pilagá Federation filed a civil lawsuit against the National State for crimes against humanity. Such crimes are not statutory, so complaints can be lodged at any time. It was in the Federal Court of  Formosa  where he initiated a case. The investigation arises that 27 corpses compatible with the fact were found. In 2015, the Federal Chamber of Formosa ratified the prosecution of the only one involved in the fact that was still alive, a gendarme from whom he did not go beyond the name. Another had died years before and was not judged.

In July 2019, federal judge Fernando Carbajal ruled that the Rincón Bomba Massacre constitutes a crime against humanity, ordering reparatory measures. Measures such as setting the date of the massacre in the school calendar and building a reminder monument, investments in works that determine the pilagá and student scholarships.

Image: AnRed

Publication Date: 23/08/2019

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