Rocker and activist Bono has met with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in a bid to locate a protester who went missing following a clash with police in August (17).
Santiago Maldonado disappeared on 1 August (17) after armed forces were called in to clear a road he and his fellow demonstrators had allegedly been blocking in the Chubut province, where they had been calling for the release of a jailed Mapuche indigenous leader and the return of ancestral lands owned by bosses of clothing giant Benetton.
Eyewitnesses claimed the 28-year-old was arrested by authorities, but he has not been seen since, sparking suspicions of a human rights abuse cover-up, which have led to further protests.
Bono, an outspoken member of human rights group Amnesty International, addressed the concerns for Maldonado’s well-being during a discussion with President Macri in Buenos Aires on Monday (09Oct17), after which the U2 frontman admitted he was “glad” to learn the leader was taking the case “seriously”, reports The Associated Press.
A representative for Macri also issued a statement after the meeting, explaining the President told Bono about “all the actions that have been carried out to locate the whereabouts of the young man and the permanent cooperation that is being given to the justice system to clear up the case”.
The Maldonado case is particularly worrying for Argentinians as it brings back memories of the nation’s military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, when an estimated 30,000 people were secretly abducted or imprisoned by security forces, in what is known as forced disappearances.
Bono is known for using his high profile to champion social activism, and recently sat down with new French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss plans to tackle global poverty in July (17).