Argentine journalist and poet Raúl Noro, husband of Indigenous activist Milagro Sala, passed away at the age of 80 on August 6. (Photo: Prensa Latina)
Argentine journalist and poet Raúl Noro, husband of Indigenous activist Milagro Sala, passed away at the age of 80 on Sunday, August 6. According to sources close to the family, Noro had been in a delicate state of health for the past few months, aggravated by the intense state persecution against his partner Sala.
On June 29, Noro suffered a serious breakdown when the police in the Jujuy province raided Sala’s home, where she is currently under house arrest. The police carried out the raid violently, even aggressively entering the room where terminally ill Noro was resting after returning from hospital days prior. The police agents also initially prevented doctors from providing Noro the medical attention he needed.
The police searched the home of Sala, the leader of the Tupac Amaru Neighborhood Organization, as part of an investigation into alleged public disturbances during the ongoing protests against the reforms to the provincial Constitution, promoted by conservative Governor Gerardo Morales of the right-wing Radical Civic Union party. Prosecutor Diego Funes alleged that Sala had played a role in instigating the events. Human rights and social organizations maintained that the charges that led to the raid were politically motivated and part of the ongoing campaign of persecution against the social activist.
Sala was arrested in January 2016 over similar charges of inciting violence and chaos in Jujuy. She was accused of sedition for organizing and leading a month-long protest against the regressive changes made to the housing cooperative system by the then newly-elected governor Morales. National and international human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the humiliation, abuse, and mistreatment suffered by Sala at the hands of local authorities.
Informamos que falleció Raul Noro, compañero de vida de Milagro Sala, quien venía cursando una enfermedad prolongada.
El compañero Raul periodista, poeta, militante humanista y tupaquero; lo recodaremos con amor y alegría siempre.
Abrazos a Milagro, familia y amigos. pic.twitter.com/hhqlRq4lzD
— Prensa Tupac (@PrensaTupac) August 7, 2023
In the hours following Noro’s death, several social activists, trade unionists and political leaders mourned his death and condemned the persecution suffered by the couple under the Morales government.
“We bid farewell with pain but with pride to our dear Raúl Noro. We embrace Milagro and his entire family. Rest, dear friend. We will continue [fighting] here, as you did until the end. We love you,” tweeted journalist Gabriela Tijman.
Juan Grabois, pre-candidate for president for the Unión por la Patria, also expressed his condolences over Noro’s death. “Raul Noro was a great humanist who was always on the side of the weakest…He was a man who transmitted that energy of kindness that filled every environment he stepped in. In recent years he suffered the harassment and persecution of Gerardo Morales who even went so far as to kick him with the security forces in his sick bed. Raul could have lived longer but his life was shortened by his executioners and those who have not done enough to ensure that Argentina has no political prisoners or detainees.” Grabois also reiterated the demand for the urgent pardon of Milagro Sala.
The general secretary of the Central de Trabajadores de Argentina (Autónoma), Hugo Godoy, sent his condolences, stressing that “we will follow your example of resistance,” and demanding “freedom for all detained comrades.”
The National Secretary of Human Rights Horacio Pietragalla Corti, the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers Agustín Rossi, Senator of the ruling center-left Frente de Todos coalition Oscar Parrilli, among others, also expressed their sorrow on Noro’s death and support for Sala and their family.