Freedom for the “1st of May Cooperative and Social Movement” Political Prisoners in Bariloche, Argentina


“The looters are the politicians, who rob
the workers of their dignity”

The undersigned organisations support the February 5th international day of solidarity with the five political prisoners from the 1st of May Cooperative and Social Movement (M.S.C. 1º de Mayo) in Bariloche, Rio Negro (Argentina) – agreed to at the final plenary of the 10th annual Latin American Encounter of Popular Autonomous Organisations (ELAOPA) – and the call for their immediate release and return to their homes and families. We denounce the violent manner with which the gendarmeria, under order of the Federal Justice, dispersed the families of the political prisoners demonstrating in demand of their release on 21st January. Similarly, we stand firmly in solidarity with the Federation of Grassroots Organisations (FOB), which has suffered aggressions and accusations in certain media sources of being “looters and delinquents” for defending their rights and actively demonstrating their solidarity and support for the persecuted comrades of Bariloche.

In the wake of the 20th December lootings which took place in Bariloche and other cities across Argentina the government has unjustly accused the comrades of the 1st of May Cooperative of being the instigators thereof, seeking to place the blame on the 1st of May Cooperative. The national government needs to hold someone responsible for the looting, and it is necessary to invent these in order to cover up the social situation that exists in the poor neighbourhoods of Bariloche, and the rest of the country, in order to hide the hunger and unemployment that affect those at the bottom of society, the poor.

We hold responsible for the attacks against the popular sectors of society, for the social and political persecution and for the social neglect evident in Bariloche and the denial of the freedom of social activists and cooperativists not only the orders of Judge Ricardo Calcagno and the whole justice system of Rio Negro, but also the National Government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Weretilneck Provincial Government of Rio Negro and the Municipal Government of Goye. It is the neoliberal economic policies and system implemented and defended by the government and politicians, not only in Argentina but the rest of the world, which leads people to looting and to struggle not only to defend their rights, but to survive. It is thus the neoliberal economic model and those that defend it that are responsible for – and must be held accountable for – the hunger and unemployment predominant in Argentina and elsewhere and for the reasonable and logical popular response it generates; looting, blockading of roads and social unrest.

We reproduce a short extract from a letter written by one of the five comrades imprisoned at Viedma prison:

“We are political prisoners and our cause is struggling against the unemployment and hunger that are present in Altos de Bariloche. We are social strugglers independent of officialism and the opposition and for this we are imprisoned; because they can’t buy us. The looters are the politicians, who rob the workers of their dignity”.

We support the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the political prisoners of the 1st of May Cooperative and Social Movement:

Miguel Mansilla, Jose Paredes, Catalina Lineros, Haide Grande and Giselle Poblete.

Freedom for our comrades!

Arriba los que luchan!

The looters are the politicians,
who rob the workers of their dignity!


Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici – FdCA (Italy)
Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group – MACG (Australia)
Organisation Socialiste Libertaire – OSL (Switzerland)
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front – ZACF (South Africa)

Freedom for the "1st of May Cooperative and Social Movement" [ii]