Tupac Amaru group leader Milagro Sala was handed Wednesday a 3-year jail sentence by a Federal court in Jujuy for aggravated damage during an “escrache” protest against then national Senator Gerardo Morales in 2009 at the Professional Council of Economic Sciences in the provincial capital San Salvador de Jujuy. Sala also benefitted from a statute of limitations which rendered the threat charges void. Morales is now Governor of Jujuy.
Judges Mario Juárez Almaraz, María Alejandra Cataldi and Fernando Díaz also sentenced Sala's acolytes Graciela López and Ramón Salvatierra to 3 and 2 years in prison respectively, after finding them too guilty of causing aggravated damages in the aforementioned event.
When given the right to speak, Salas addressed the judges and asked them not to be guided by political power. She added that ”I feel a lot of pain for the injustice we are living because we have not stolen anything, we have worked and we have dignified thousands of compañeros (comrades).
That was our sin. We only wanted equality in a rich country like this,” she explained. To many, including the United Nations, Sala is a social leader and a political prisoner, but also to many she is nothing but the non-government arm of former President Cristina Fernandez' corruption ring.
Sala's organization built houses for the poor with national government funds channeled through then Welfare Minister Alicia Kirchner, now governor of Santa Cruz, (sister of the late president Nestor Kirchner's and therefore sister-in-law of the incumbent president) on condition that the beneficiaries participated in political rallies and proved their allegiance to the movement in various manners.
Dignifying those who have less meant that today I'm sitting on this chair, Sala closed her statement.
A group of Tupac Amaru supporters, opposition Victory Front (FpV) lawmakers and human rights activists were seen at the courthouse to show Sala their endorsement to her actions.