One person’s shadow will loom large over Argentina’s legislative elections on Sunday. It isn’t Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s, the former two-term president running for a senatorial seat that could either propel her into a third presidential bid or potentially end her life-long political career. It isn’t that of Education Minister Esteban Bullrich, Fernandez’s main opponent. Instead, the name that will be at the forefront of voters minds will be Santiago Maldonado, a 28-year-old tattoo artist and indigenous rights activist from Veinticinco de Mayo, whose body was found on Thursday, nearly 80 days after his disappearance in a case that has captivated the attention and political discussions of the entire country.
“We were able to see the body, we recognised his tattoos, we are sure it is him,” Sergio Maldonado, Santiago’s brother, announced to the press gathered in front of the Buenos Aires judicial morgue on Friday.
“The calvary that has affected our family since the day we found out that he had disappeared will not end until we obtain Justice,” read a statement released by the Maldonado family later that day.
The judge who oversaw the autopsy confirmed the body was that of Maldonado’s, adding it had no evidence of injuries, and that more time was needed to determine a cause of death, local media reported.