November 30, 2022

The Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity resigned

Read Time:2 Minute, 26 Second


(CNN) — The arrest of several women indigenous leaders in Argentina this week prompted the resignation of the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta. She did so on Friday in protest of the measure, according to the state news agency Télam.

The women, all members of the Mapuche nation, were detained Tuesday by Argentine security forces amid clashes over the occupation of public and private land by their community, Télam reported.

“The situation is very worrying. Seven indigenous women, one of them a spiritual leader of the community, have been detained for more than 48 hours,” Gómez said in an interview with local radio station AM750 on Thursday. Her portfolio includes promoting the rights of women and indigenous minorities.

The next day, Gómez resigned.

The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, accepted the resignation of Gomez Alcorta, according to Telám reported by the spokeswoman for Casa Rosada, Gabriel Cerruti.

Argentina’s plans to combat gender violence 2:25

On Tuesday, the federal police had carried out an operation to liberate land in the Patagonian province of Río Negro, which had been occupied by the Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu indigenous community, reported Télam.

Community members had occupied the areas while demonstrating for better treatment of indigenous groups in the country, part of a long-standing struggle by the Mapuche for recognition of their language and cultural heritage, as well as for better treatment. economic by the government.

Following clashes between security forces and protesters, seven women were detained, reported Telam.

Four of them were later transferred to a prison in Buenos Aires province, some 1,500 kilometers from where they had been arrested, according to the agency. The Argentine Ministry of Security reported that they were transferred because the local penitentiary in the province of Río Negro did not have space.

A prison system spokesman told CNN on Friday that the four women remain in custody, but did not specify whether any have been charged.

Police fire tear gas as they work to evict indigenous Mapuche people from land they have been occupying near Villa Mascardi, Argentina, Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

Police fire tear gas as they work to evict indigenous Mapuche people from land they have been occupying near Villa Mascardi, Argentina, Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

In his resignation letter, published by Télam, Gómez said that the actions of the police “is incompatible with the values ​​that I defend as a political project.”

“Personally, I believe that these actions crossed a line, and as a consequence I must step aside for someone else to take on the important responsibility of running this Ministry,” the letter says.

Public Works Minister Gabriel Katopodis regretted Gómez’s decision and said the government “loses a very capable official,” in a statement to Télam.

In the past, the Mapuche nation occupied large extensions of territory in both the Argentine and Chilean Patagonia region. Historically, its territory has been reduced by ranchers and shepherds looking for pasture in the fertile plains of northern Patagonia.



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