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Argentine state responsible for 1924 indigenous massacre

500 members of the Qom and Moqoit communities were killed.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — An Argentine court on Thursday found the state responsible for the massacre of more than 400 indigenous people almost a century ago, and ordered remedial measures.

In July 1924, Argentine police and settlers mowed down hundreds of indigenous people protesting inhumane living and working conditions on cotton plantations in the northern region of Chaco.

As many as 500 members of the Qom and Moqoit communities were killed. They lived in conditions of semi-slavery on the so-called Napapli reservation on land settled by immigrant farmers from Europe.

After a month of hearings in a so-called “truth trial,” a verdict was delivered Thursday by a court in Resistencia in Spanish as well as the languages of the Qom and Moqoit.

It said that the “responsibility of the state” had been proven in “crimes against humanity” that had taken place in the context of an “indigenous genocide.”

Judge Zunilda Niremperger ordered “historic reparations,” which did not include financial compensation.

Among the measures are to include the massacre in the school syllabus and continuing forensic efforts to find the remains of victims.

A memorial was erected in 2020.

This was the first court case to delve into the persecution of indigenous peoples in Argentina.

According to the accounts of survivors of the 1924 massacre, the dead included many children and elderly.

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