May 21, 2022 2:24 pm

“They wanted to kill us”: hooded men seriously assaulted tourists in Villa Mascardi

SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE.- Two tourists were seriously attacked this Friday by a group of hooded men who blocked Route 40 near Villa Mascardi. The 23-year-olds approached the protesters to find out how long the court would take and were attacked with sticks and stones.

“They wanted to kill us,” he told today THE NATION Marco Galderisi, who received a dry blow to the head and another to the forehead. For the injuries they gave him two stitches. Meanwhile, his friend Patricio suffered a wound that required four stitches.

Along with seven other friends, all from the south of the Province of Buenos Aires, the young people had decided to spend the day in El Bolsón. They rented cars in Bariloche and at the height of Villa Mascardi they ran into the roadblock carried out by members of the mapuche community Lafken Winkul Map two months after the crime of Elijah Garay, the young man murdered in Cuesta del Ternero.

Two young people were attacked by hooded men in front of the cut of Route 40 in Villa Mascardi

“We approached where the demonstrators were thinking that we could find some authority that could inform us of something. There was no authority in courtGalderisi said.

They never imagined what would happen: “We got out of the car with two friends, I had sunglasses and one of my friends was with mate in hand. We just wanted to know if they would lift the cut in a while or not, so we could decide what to do. I asked a girl and another one appeared and told me that she was very close and, out of nowhere, another guy hit me on the head. And then another. Patricio was also hit hard in the forehead, and my other friend managed to get us away from the place, while they threw stones at us.

The wounded youths were assisted in a small room of the National Gendarmerie, very close to the roadblock. They would then be treated at the Regional Private Hospital of Bariloche, where they had CT scans.

Two young people were attacked by hooded men in front of the cut of Route 40 in Villa Mascardi
Two young people were attacked by hooded men in front of the cut of Route 40 in Villa Mascardi

We got it cheap, but they wanted to kill us. They weren’t twigs, they hit us with tremendous sticks, and on the head. And on top of that they threw stones at us, which also hit the cars that were thereGalderisi added.

The young people did not file a complaint after the attack. “It was not going to be of much use and we wanted to end our vacation in the best possible way,” concluded the tourist.

At the end of December, as the arrival of tourists to Bariloche and its surroundings increased, the Andean Comarca Consensus Table of Parallel 42 issued a statement in which they expressed their concern “for the reiteration of the roadblock resource as a form of claim and demonstration”, especially on route 40, near Villa Mascardi, a strategic place for those who travel through the region.

“According to witnesses present at the scene, incidents with motorists would have also taken place. As has happened on other occasions, This type of measure not only threatens our peaceful life as a community, but also threatens one of our main sources of income, such as tourism.. The climate of peace and tranquility that those who visit us seek is interrupted by violent events that generate uncertainty and fear”, they indicated, while demanding measures from the national, provincial and municipal authorities.

The cuts at the height of Villa Mascardi became a frequent postcard despite the claims
The cuts at the height of Villa Mascardi became a frequent postcard despite the claims

Meanwhile, a study carried out by the consulting firm Trespuntozero between December 10 and 20, 2021 in Neuquén, Río Negro and Chubut was released today. 80.6% of those surveyed believe that the conflict arising from the seizure of land in Patagonia is of high or very high severity.

Likewise, among the negative consequences of the conflict, those surveyed mentioned economic development and investment (44.1%), Argentina’s image abroad (42.2%) and tourism activity (40.8%).

“The results of the survey show the great concern of the Patagonians regarding the conflict, which they associate with negative consequences for coexistence, the economy and tourism in the region. It is also interesting to observe that for the majority of those surveyed, the promoter of the conflict is not the Mapuche people, but rather groups that act on their behalf”, warned Mariano Sarmiento, Executive Director of the Perito Moreno Association, promoter of the survey.

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