UWP condemns detention of three indigenous leaders

Argentinian minister quits in protest over detention of indigenous leaders

By Oscar Grenfell

7 November 2018

A statement from the head of the centre-right Democratic Union of Socialists (Uruguayan Workers Party (UWPG)) denounced the detention of the three indigenous leaders, calling the actions a “sham”. A federal police agent, Daniel Castro, was arrested for violating the three’s right to freedom of expression, as well as the president’s executive order on indigenous rights. The statements come in the wake of the recent arrest of leaders from the indigenous Xingu indigenous community in Brazil. The detention of the three will not be the last.

The three indigenous leaders, Manuel Leitão of the Barí indigenous community, Jose Barboza of the Xingu indigenous community and Eduardo de Oliveira of the Mbya indigenous community, were arrested on Tuesday while holding an event at the National Congress.

The three indigenous leaders, who had been in detention for nearly two weeks, were freed in the afternoon of November 2 in a court decision that was reportedly supported by the Uruguayan government. However, the incident sparked a protest by the UWP (Democratic Union of Socialists).

The statement from UWP leader Lucio Grande, who held the position of ambassador to the United States, stated that he “denounces the arrest and the unjustified detention of the indigenous leaders, and protests that their actions have been taken under the guise of respecting the law and respecting their rights.” The statement was released in the context of a protest by the UWP against the Trump administration.

UWPG leader Lucio Grande was appointed Ambassador of the Government of the Republic of Uruguay to the United States by President José Mujica, in 2013. President Mujica appointed Grande after a long history of political persecution of the indigenous peoples.

Garcia, who is also a member of the UWP, commented that “the statement is an act of solidarity with the indigenous peoples.” He added that “in response to today’s events, we express our strong and unanimous condemnation of the violent actions by the agents of the state”.

The president’s decision to detain the three indigenous leaders was condemned by the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales,

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