[Marxism] Argentina: PETITION For the acquittal of the workers of the Las Heras Oil Refinery

Juan Andres Gallardo juanagallardo at gmail.com
Sun Feb 2 13:27:04 MST 2014


PETITION For the acquittal of the workers of the Las Heras Oil Refinery
[image: PETITION For the acquittal of the workers of the Las Heras Oil
PARTY), FROM ARGENTINA<http://www.ft-ci.org/PTS-Partido-de-los-Trabajadores?lang=en>
TRANSLATORALEJANDRA RÍOS <http://www.ft-ci.org/Alejandra-Rios?lang=en>



*For the acquittal of the workers of the Las Heras Oil Refinery*

We, the undersigned, condemn the sentences handed out to nine workers of
the Las Heras oil refinery in Santa Cruz province, Argentina by the Caleta
Olivia Criminal Court on December 13. Four of them, one of whom was a minor
at the time, have been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found
guilty of killing police officer Jorge Sayago in 2006. The remaining five
have been sentenced to five years, charged with 'aggravated coercion'.

No evidence of their guilt was produced at the trial and they were
convicted on the basis of false testimonies obtained by methods that
violate human rights. Sayago died during the wave of protests in Santa Cruz
against the additional tax on incomes and for better working conditions and

We demand the acquittal of the workers on the basis that the trial was a
travesty of justice.

Despite constant intimidation from the judges, the defence team was able to
prove that there was no evidence linking the workers to Sayago's death. In
fact, the only thing that was incontestable was that the oil workers were
subjected to torture, unlawful coercion, ill treatment and threats at the
hands of the provincial police force during the three years that they were
in custody, to make them incriminate themselves. These methods remind us of
those used under the military dictatorship. To everyone's amazement, the
prosecuting attorney even justified the ill treatment, saying that "a bag
over the head and a couple of slaps on the face" could not be called

We condemn the treatment of the accused and the practices of the Caleta
Olivia Criminal Court.

The large number of complaints presented by the defence team during the
proceedings - supported by hundreds of human rights groups, political
organisations, campaigns and trade unions - forced the Secretary of State
for Human Rights to request an enquiry into the trial.

The harsh sentences received by the workers are amongst the worst since the
return to democracy in 1983. They are aimed at preventing workers from
standing up to the big oil companies and other large corporations.
Moreover, they establish a precedent for the justice system to rely on
confessions obtained under torture in the future.

On February 5, an appeal will be presented to the High Court in Río
Gallegos, the capital of Santa Cruz province, asking for the annulment of
the sentences.

We demand the immediate and unconditional acquittal of the oil workers of
Las Heras.

Send your signature to:
ceprodh at gmail.com
absoluciontrabajadoreslasheras at gmail.com

*See all the signatures:*

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