The tribunal of Resisencia, after six hearings spread over a month, and in a verdict read Thursday, May 19 in Spanish and in Qom and Mocoit languages, considered “proven the responsibility of the State” in “crimes Against humanity “within the framework of an” native genocide “.
Argentine justice formally recognized, Thursday, the “responsibility” of the State in the massacre of more than 400 natives, almost a century ago in a chaco (north) reserve, during a Unpublished “Truth for the Truth” which recommended repair measures.
In this case, the court established that “on the morning of Saturday July 19, 1924, a hundred police officers, gendarmes and some armed civilians, supported by an airplane, arrived in the reserve area where a thousand people , families Qom and Mocoit, and agricultural workers led a strike, “to protest against their deplorable conditions in the cotton fields. This arms crew opened fire for more than an hour and “between 400 and 500 members of the Qom and Mocoit ethnic groups died (…), the wounded who could not escape were killed from the The most cruel possible way “, with mutilations, burials in common pits.
In what is known as “the massacre of Napalpi”, whose memory has re -emerged for fifteen years after a long invisibility, the judge Zunilda Niremperger presiding over the court ordered “historical reparation measures”. Among these, the publication of the verdict in the Official Journal, the inclusion of the massacre in school programs, the dissemination of the trial on public television, the continuation of forensic research to exhume and put the remains of the victims. A memorial has already been erected in 2020.
A first in Argentina
The theme of an economic compensation was neither an issue nor a request during the debates, even if the judgment in theory could open the way to civil procedures. The Napalpi trial, with a large symbolic value, without “accused” as such, is nevertheless a first in Argentina, and the marker of increased visibility of the crimes perpetrated against the native peoples during the construction of Argentina as nation, along the 19th century and beyond.
The province of Chaco (which did not exist at the time of the facts), the secretariat of human rights (government) and the Aboriginal Institute eachño were co-plagia in the procedure. Judge Niremperger had immediately warned that the trial “did not seek criminal responsibility, but to know the truth, in order to rehabilitate the memory of the peoples, heal the wounds, repair and also activate the memory and the conscience of these violations of human rights “.