Proclamation on Institutional Violence

 Case No. 27/2017:  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)


Proclamation on Institutional Violence

February 5th, 2018

The International Buddhist Ethics Committee and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights,

Considering that in December of 2017 the Argentine government violently repressed political demonstrators protesting against a reduction in the salary of retirees, being a salary reduction that would be unconstitutional according to important Argentine constitutionalists;

Recalling that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) publicly expressed its concern about the inadequate and disproportionate violence of the Argentine security forces led by the government of President Macri, affirming that the criminalization of social protest is incompatible with the democratic society where any individual has the right to express his or her opinions peacefully, so that an investigation and subsequent sanctions should be promptly and thoroughly carried out concerning police conduct during those demonstrations;

Aware that the Argentine government of President Macri has criminalized social protest through direct repression against demonstrators or through the arbitrary detention of demonstrators and bystanders, ignoring the fact that even if some people use violence in a demonstration this does not necessarily turns the whole protest into a violent demonstration nor does it legitimize the security forces to dissolve the protest through violence or mass arrests;

Greatly concerned by the fact that on December 14, 2017, hundreds of demonstrators and bystanders were violently repressed with toxic gases and rubber bullets fired by the Argentine security forces, wounding civilians, opposition legislators and journalists, all of which demonstrates the use of disproportionate violence by the Argentine government instead of fostering the right to freedom of expression and democratic dialogue;

Deploring the criminal and violent behavior of the Argentine security forces, which are not only engaged in confronting the demonstrators instead of dedicating themselves to protect life and peace, but they have also systematically attacked journalists covering the demonstrations, by attacking them with batons and tear gas, thus leaving a balance of 36 journalists wounded, arbitrarily detaining them and even firing bullets at 18 journalists for filming or photographing the abuses, in addition to destroying televisual and media artifacts, being the worst violent attack against journalists in the last 35 years of democratic governments in Argentina;

Expressing absolute rejection of President Macri’s affirmation in which he perversely congratulated his officials for showing Gandhian mysticism and rationality at the time of the repression, which demonstrates the total contempt for peace on the part of the Argentine government as well as dishonoring the memory of the great pacifists in the history of humankind;

Analyzing the fact that deputies Horacio Pietragalla and Mayra Mendoza were attacked with impunity by the Argentine security forces, receiving pepper spray in their faces even though they were not carrying out any kind of violent act, which was a police action rated by the Argentine government as perfect, ignoring that this fact could be regarded as a violation against the rights of women, and even a violation against the right to parliamentary immunity;

Examining  the fact that Mayra Mendoza belongs to a political orientation criticized by the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights, it does not imply that she is not offered absolute solidarity facing the terrible attack that she has suffered as a woman and as a parliamentarian that protested peacefully;

Bearing in mind that the deputy Leonardo Grosso denounced having been attacked with police batons, and that the deputy Victoria Donda also reported being beaten by kicks of the Argentine police forces led by President Macri, and having to be treated by doctors just like the other deputies attacked, which shows an evident institutional violence, especially because the government publicly mocked the deputies injured;

Taking into consideration the fact that femicide and gender violence have become a plague within Argentine society, there being about 1 (one) femicide per day, that is an alarming amount according to the UN and its Committee against Torture, all of which are fed for the institutional violence promulgated by the Argentine government of President Macri that every day has less respect for the right to life and the right to the fundamental freedoms of people, as has been perceived in gender violence carried out with impunity against defenseless women deputies;

Affirming the agreement with the UN Committee against Torture about the fact that violence against women, especially in the context of police detention, is framed within the category of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, so that according to the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights a government that systematically encourages this treatment toward women is committing crimes against humanity;

Expressing dismay at the fact that women, retirees and native peoples of Argentina often receive violations of their rights and fundamental freedoms by the government, which usually ignores or treat everything that is not transmitted by the mass media and social networks as nonexistent, creating a difficult context of respect for minorities, including Buddhist Peoples and Spiritual Communities, which have suffered violent attacks with total impunity;

Reaffirming that the hunting and shot in the back that killed the Mapuche Rafael Nahuel, together with the subsequent defense of this extrajudicial execution by the government of President Macri, confirms that the Argentine State has entered a new era of institutional violence led by the highest spheres, as happened with the murder of prosecutor Nisman during the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, mistakenly believing that if a government is legitimized at the ballot boxes it has the right to do anything it wants;

Declaring that the Argentine government will continue to carry out and endorse episodes of institutional violence, unless the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) decides to intervene to curb this systematic and widespread plan of impunity and violation of justice;

Confirming that according to the Coordinator Against Police and Institutional Repression (Correpi, in its Spanish acronym), Argentina is suffering the highest point of violent repression in the last 35 years of democratic history, reaching the point of more than 1 (one) death per day of President Macri’s government, that is a product of extrajudicial executions or torture that happen because there are no restrictions from the institutions of the Argentine government but quite the contrary;

Disapproving that the gendarme Emmanuel Echazú, participant in the death of Santiago Maldonado, member of the Mapuche tribal community, has been promoted by the government of President Macri;

Denouncing that President Macri has received and congratulated a policeman as a hero and a national pride for having shot in the back an alleged delinquent who ran unarmed, not only validating a crime and unofficial execution but also violating the independence of the Judiciary by providing full support and requesting the judge to stop investigating and prosecuting the homicidal police officer;

Criticizing the Argentine government for being composed of some officials who publicly vindicate the genocidal military dictatorship that 35 years ago produced a minimum of 8,000 forced disappearances in Argentina, in addition to developing a systematic plan of torture and illegal executions that have been condemned as crimes against humanity and genocide;

  • It is stated that, from the point of view of constitutionalism, the human right to protest is totally legitimate and valid, even necessary and crucial for the functioning of democracy, especially in a context of poverty and unemployment, or when a government establishes a system in favor of the richest that ignores the welfare of the general population;
  • The IBEC & BTHR affirms its agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in requesting the Argentine State to guarantee the freedom of journalists when carrying out their informative work within the framework of political demonstrations, and should not be detained, threatened, assaulted or limited in the exercise of their profession, otherwise a systematic plan of violations of the human right to freedom of expression would be perpetuated;
  • The detailed report presented before Judge Torres by the Procurator’s Office for Institutional Violence (Procuvin, in its Spanish acronym) is invoked, which details numerous cases of police abuse, such as aggressions and arbitrary detentions;
  • It is confirmed that the arbitrary detention of journalists in full activity of filming and photographing political demonstrations had previously occurred during the march in favor of the return of Santiago Maldonado alive, which demonstrates the systematic nature of the illegal measures of the Argentine government;
  • President Macri is condemned as a necessary participant in the systematic plan of institutional violence and human rights abuses in Argentina, especially for arbitrary detentions, unofficial executions, and also for the apartheid against Indigenous and Aboriginal Peoples, who are systematically discriminated and they are denied the access to their territories, food and health in a widespread way, persecuting them with false criminal processes and treating them as the last category of civil society, as claimed by tribal chief Félix Díaz;
  • It is established that President Macri breached commitments signed with Indigenous and Aboriginal Peoples, in addition to continuing to breach constitutional regulations and international treaties signed by Argentina that oblige the country to respect the rights of tribal peoples and indigenous communities, such as the ILO Convention 169;
  • It is recalled that President Macri has publicly expressed on several occasions, as in the World Economic Forum in Davos 2018, that “in South America, we’re all descendants of Europeans,” which constitutes an explicit denial of the existence of indigenous communities and native peoples of Argentina and the rest of Latin America;
  • It is expressed that institutional violence, torture, arbitrary arrests and unofficial executions will continue to exist with impunity in Argentina, even against Buddhist Peoples and Spiritual Communities, unless the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) decides to urgently intervene in order to protect the sacredness of human life, not maintaining complicit silence in the face of human rights violations.

This document was written two thousand six hundred years after the foundation and independence of the Great Buddhist Nation.

President and Judge: H.E. Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha



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