Members of the Qom La Primavera community have cut a Ruta 86 in Formosa to demand justice after a member of their community was run over and killed by a truck. The incident occurred at 8.15pm last night, close to the indigenous settlement, at around Km 1338.
The victim, 22-year-old Aldo Javier Camachi, was the nephew of Oscar Camachi, one of the community’s leaders. According to witnesses, Camachi was walking along the shoulder of the route, not on the asphalt, returning home from a day’s fishing with two friends, when the truck hit him, dragging him over ten metres. The driver, who witnesses say fled the scene, has been detained and is being held in Clorinda.
Víctor Tellez, Secretary General of the Formosa police, said that Camachi was transferred to Laguna Blanca hospital, but died as a result of his injuries. However, witnesses say that Camachi clearly died on the scene. Eliseo Camachi today spoke to Radio Uno and said that his family don’t understand the authority’s haste to remove his nephew’s body, and why they did so without the consent of his family.
Today, around 20 people from the community have cut the route to demand that the judge in charge of the case go to the community to explain the circumstances. Gendarmes and Police are currently directing traffic to use an alternative route.
“We’re tired of this attacks on our brothers,” said a statement on La Primavera’s blog. “We keep demanding that speed bumps are put on the route, but our requests fall on deaf ears. We want an autopsy on the body. How many more will die before anything is done?”
The La Primavera community has been repeatedly in the headlines over the past four years, since the provincial government approved a plan to build a 600-hectare university on the community’s land. Their leader, Felix Díaz, was a vocal opponent of the project and brought the issue to the national agenda after setting up a camp in Buenos Aires in protest of the plan. Last year the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Qom, saying the National Institute for Indigenous Affairs (INAI) must carry out an independent land survey to allow for a judicial decision on the proposal.
Since their opposition to the plan, there have been numerous incidents of members of the community being run over by speeding trucks, including one incident which involved Díaz himself.