Last Updated: Thursday, 26 November 2015, 08:53 GMT

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - Argentina

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 April 2005
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - Argentina, 14 April 2005, available at: [accessed 26 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Assassination of Mr. Martín Cisneros44

On 25 June 2004, on his way home from work, Mr. Martín Cisneros, head of the Land and Housing Federation (Federación de Tierra y Vivienda – FTV), was shot dead in La Boca district, in Buenos Aires, just yards from a police station. Initially, the police made no attempt to arrest the alleged killer, Mr. Juan Carlos Duarte, despite the fact that several witnesses denounced the murder. Under public pressure, Mr. Duarte, known to be a protected police informer, was finally arrested and held in provisional detention.

At the end of 2004, although Mr. Duarte was still in detention, the investigation had not produced any result yet. It should be noted that this assassination took place in the context of a campaign of intimidation and arbitrary detentions waged against the movement of unemployed Argentineans known as piqueteros.

Arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of the secretary general of the ATE45

In the night of 4-5 July 2004, Mr. Juan Eduardo Riquel, secretary general of the Association of State Workers (Asociación de Trabajadores del Estado – ATE), section in Castelli, Chaco Province, was arrested there by policemen who produced no warrant. Mr. Riquel was arrested for intervening a few hours earlier, when police assaulted members of the Toba community, who were celebrating a popular festival at the Sarmiento Club.

The policemen took Mr. Riquel to the police station, beating him up on the way. After more than an hour of ill treatment and violence, Mr. Riquel started to display serious breathing difficulties. The policemen then decided to take him to the hospital in the north of the town, claiming that he was a detainee who had resisted authority. After receiving the appropriate care, and thanks to the assistance of doctors who did not inform the police of his recovery, Mr. Riquel was able to go home. However, charges were brought against him by the provincial police for "assault" and "resisting authority". Mr. Riquel also received threats from the policemen who had arrested him, including Corporal Juan Carlos Samaniego, who resented the fact that he had lodged a complaint.

Despite the complaint that Mr. Riquel filed with the Prosecutor, those responsible for his kidnapping and ill treatment were not sanctioned. At the end of 2004, he was still facing charges.

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