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Emulating Che Guevara, Argentine photo-journalist Molares perishes in police attack

By Harsh Thakor 

Facundo Molares Schoenfeld, a former member of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), succumbed after suffering cardiac arrest following a protest at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Molares, who was a photojournalist, was protesting in a demonstration of Argentinean left-wing militants against the primary elections to be held this Sunday. After being detained by the Buenos Aires Police and after more than half an hour of  "resuscitation manoeuvres," the mayor's office of the Argentinian capital confirmed his death.
For a considerable time Facundo was targeted through fabricated charges by the Argentinean government. Facundo’s death was conspiracy of the Argentine police, to hatch any dissent challenging authoritarianism or status quo,who camouflaged it as a case of accidental cardiac arrest. Indirectly, a state sanctioned murder.
Police brutality is a regular feature under capitalism which uses police to repress workers and the popular sectors that challenge the bourgeois establishment. While the Buenos Aires city government is trying to mask Facundo’s death on “heart problems” as a result of various “risk factors,” like they did with George Floyd, it is clear, as Molares’s comrades insist, that it was intentionally planned by the police, and that Molares died under the knee of a police officer. “For more than half an hour, resuscitation maneuvers were performed until death was verified. The causes of death are related to cardiac arrest due to risk factors.”
Despite holding the officers responsible of excessive use of force, the Mayor of the Argentinean capital Horacio Rodriguez Larreta posthumously declared that he "fully supports the actions of the police" while regretting the death of the former terrorist:
“Today, during a demonstration with incidents, Facundo Molares died after suffering cardiac arrest. I regret his death and extend my condolences to his family members. I would like to highlight and fully support the actions of the city police, who acted with professionalism.”
Facundo Molares, who was born in Argentina, was 47 years old. In 2001, he migrated to Colombia, where he joined the FARC and was nicknamed "Camilo el Argentino." In November 2019, he was imprisoned in Bolivia while covering the coup d'état staged against former president Evo Morales as a photojournalist.
After being released, he returned to Argentina in 2020 and settled in his father's house. He set out to embark on the same road as in Columbia, but in a different form, now using the pen as a gun. In 2021, he was arrested in his home country on an Interpol request from the Colombian judiciary. In that country, he was accused of kidnapping while he belonged to the FARC. After waging a legal battle in which the Colombian authorities requested his extradition, an Argentinian judge released him in 2022. Facundo was currently working as a journalist and was a member of the Rebelión Popular group.
Molares was unitedly with dozens of people holding an assembly that occurred in the Obelisk, in the center of Buenos Aires. The protesters were gathered in a small square when the police flung on them.. There are still at least six people in custody. The repression took place against an assembly of the organizations MTR Votamos Luchar and Rebelión Popular. It was carried out in the Obelisk, as part of the actions called by those organizations. According to testimonials that La Izquierda Diario collected after the repression, the protesters were concluding the assembly when they were attacked by the police.
Molares was assassinated by the police force of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the current chief of government of the city of Buenos Aires and candidate for president for the right-wing coalition Together for Change, in the presidential primary elections that will take place this Sunday, August 13, in Argentina.
Molares was murdered, after having suffered cardiac arrest. Molares’ heart attack generated as he was being released on the ground, captured in video footage that also reveals bystanders repeatedly alerting the police about his breathing suffering. The video reveals police officers turning him over and administering CPR before he was sent to a hospital, where he ultimately perished.The police floored him to the ground using techniques similar to those that led to the death of George Floyd.
While Molares was being intimidated on the floor, he fell into cardiac arrest and died. "Let him go, let him go. He's turning purple, he's going to die, he's having a cardiac arrest. Let him go. Let him go," are some of the phrases a woman was desperately yelling at the police officers who were arresting Molares.
Facundo Molares (46) wanted to be emulate ‘Che’ Guevara. At the start he was already a member of the Communist Youth.Mónica Glomba, his companion since she was 14 years old, tells “At the end of 2001, when the economic and social crisis broke out in Argentina, this man, born in the populous suburb of Buenos Aires, participated in the demonstrations, and saw how the tension in the streets led to the resignation of the president, Fernando de la Rúa. At that time, his feeling was that if they had had an armed and organized movement, the revolutionaries could have filled that power vacuum, something that the extreme left regrets to this day. He used to say that it was something pivotal, that there was not going to be another moment like this in the country.”
Far from mere aggression of bullets and the rifles, his comrade, Glomba, highlights more subtle aspects of his personality, including his sensitive side: “He is one of those who listens to a song or a poem that takes root in the people, and his eyes fill with tears. In his land, Molares established links with different social movements, being quite respected. If there is something that all of his colleagues maintain, it is that he is a genuine, supportive guy. He says what he thinks, and does what he feels.”
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Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who is in touch with human rights movement worldwide

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