Argentinian minister quits in protest over detention of indigenous leaders Published duration 18 May 2019
The expulsion of a minister from the ruling Radical Radical party (PRI) in Argentina has sparked outrage after she tweeted a picture of a dead cow with the hashtag “#Ayudar a los pueblos indígenas” (helping the indigenous people).
Minister María Eugenia Vidal, 41, resigned on Saturday (Monday NZT) after she tweeted a photo of a dead cow that was later found by her mother on the banks of a river in the Argentine province of Santa Fe.
Vidal has also received death threats and threats on social media.
The tweet included a picture of a cow with the words “#Ayudar a los pueblos indígenas” and accompanied by the hashtag “#Quiero que Dios me dé un milagro” (I want a miracle).
Vidal was a member of the party’s youth, women and health and human rights affairs committees and was elected to her first cabinet post on 26 May 2019.
She became minister of infrastructure and housing on 5 November last year.
Vidal’s resignation comes a week ahead of a vote by the house of representatives on the motion of censure moved against PRI president, Alberto Fernandez, by her.
On Monday Fernandez said he was withdrawing the motion, and instead he would move for the expulsion of Vidal on account of her tweet.
“I apologise to María Eugenia Vidal for the hurt it has caused. I have told her that the resignation of one member of the cabinet will not affect the results obtained during the government’s work in the country,” Fernandez tweeted.
The issue of indigenous communities has been a hot topic in Argentine politics ahead of the country’s May presidential election.
In the 2017-2019 term, the government has committed to giving the country’s indigenous tribes, which make up 23-24% of the country’s population, land.
The Indigenous People’s Movement of Argentina (PIA) says the indigenous communities have been