The brother, mother and sister-in-law of Santiago Maldonado met Wednesday with Pope Francis in the Vatican. A photo of the visit was released to the media.
Maldonado’s family recently buried their son after autopsy results indicated the young man had spent 79 days submerged in the Chubut river following a Border Patrol raid on protestors who were blocking a highway nearby. Maldonado was among the protestors supporting members of the RAM Mapuche group.
The Maldonado family, led by the 29-year-old artisan’s elder brother Sergio, have maintained that the Border Patrol officers present at the raid were responsible for his disappearance and death.
The case sparked a national outcry with human rights group quickly pointing the finger at Border Patrol and claiming the national government was complicit in the alleged crimes. The investigation into Maldonado's death continues.