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Argentina's Qom Indians ask President Fernandez for help getting ancestral lands returned

Argentina's Qom Indians have asked President Cristina Fernandez for help in recovering some of their ancestral land.

Justices met with Qom leader Felix Diaz and other tribal members but the governor of Formosa province, Gildo Insfran, was a no-show at the conciliation hearing, sending lower-level functionaries instead.

The Qom refuse to move from land around the town of Primavera in far northern Argentina where the provincial and national governments want to build a National University of Formosa. A 2006 law is supposed to protect Indian lands, but the Qom have repeatedly faced violent evictions.

The next step is a land survey that Amnesty International is lobbying Argentina to complete.

Diaz pleaded for the president Wednesday "to contribute her grain of sand" to resolve the case in favor of the Indians.