NewsLooting or strategy? Wave of robberies in shops and rumors worsen...

    Looting or strategy? Wave of robberies in shops and rumors worsen electoral climate in Argentina

    Social networks and the media in Argentina were filled in recent days with alleged mass looting in supermarkets in different parts of the country, which generated a climate of social uncertainty in the midst of presidential campaigns.

    The growing tension was encouraged by the political leaders who began to exchange accusations, some to ensure that they were organized acts by the opposition; and others to denounce the inefficiency of the authorities or even propose that a state of siege be declared.

    The debate has a historical explanation, since in the South American country the word “looting” immediately refers to the serious political, economic and social conflict which broke out in December 2001 and which culminated in the early resignation of former President Fernando de la Rua, who left 28 dead in the protests against him.

    At that time, looting was commonplace and was carried out by hundreds of people who entered supermarkets to take mainly food, while they were going through one of the worst economic crises in their history.

    Although Argentina is currently going through another crisis, unlike 2001 there is a strong social containment based on aid programs, in addition to the fact that unemployment and poverty rates are much lower than at that time.

    However, during the campaigns, the opposition has insistently compared the current state with that of 2001 to generate a scenario of Government “terminal crisis” headed by President Alberto Fernandez and Vice Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

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    What happened

    Over the weekend, the speech was stirred up after the attacks on shops and supermarkets in the provinces of Mendoza, Cordoba and Neuquenwhich were more similar to “piranha robberies”, since they were mostly carried out by groups of people who arrived on motorcycles and wearing hoods, and not by the general public, so they are more similar to thefts than looting product of the crisis.

    In the three cases there were more than 40 people arrested and accused of “acts of vandalism.” Authorities confirmed that the robbery attempts had been coordinated via text messages.

    While the images of the attacks in these provinces went viral and were repeated at all times in the traditional press, in the City of Buenos Aires and in the metropolitan area (particularly in what is known as “suburbs”) a climate spread of much nervousness that the authorities attributed to a “contagion effect” of social networks.

    For example, in Once and Avellaneda, two of the most important commercial neighborhoods in the capital, there were runs of street vendors who went to store their products. In the premises, meanwhile, they closed the blinds intermittently. “The looting is coming!“, was the alarmist phrase that ran through the streets.

    However, none of this happened. The Urban Monitoring Center reported that they received an avalanche of calls for possible illegal acts, but upon arrival they did not find any abnormality, beyond the scare of the merchants.

    On the contrary, in various towns in the suburbs there were robberies to different supermarkets. The balance was more than 50 detainees and a burned business.

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    The presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti assured that the alleged looting was not spontaneous, like the one in 2001, but rather a strategy organized by supporters of La Libertad Avanza, the party of the far-right candidate for the presidency, Javier Milei.

    “The images that are circulating on the networks are false, published in accounts that they are clearly followers or employees of Milei. There is no such looting: there are rumors and agitation through WhatsApp groups because they are deeply anti-democratic and want to destabilize,” he accused.

    He also assured that far-right militants walk the streets, scare merchants into closing shops, film them and upload videos to social networks assuring that there is looting.

    In response, Victoria Villarruel, Milei’s candidate for the vice presidencybegan a campaign to demand Cerruti’s resignation, accusing her of not assuming the responsibility of the Government in those events.

    “Cerruti in power, with all the weight of the State, accuses Javier Milei and La Libertad Avanza for the looting that is taking place throughout the country. I wonder how such an incapable and storyteller is in public office when it is notorious that he is an irresponsible blinded by power?” he wrote.

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    Added to the discussion Patricia Bullrichthe presidential candidate of the talkative coalition Together for Change, who recalled that, as in 2001, the Executive is able to call for extreme measures.

    “The government has to get its act together, and if it needs something because this spills over, it’s going to have to call Congress and ask for more drastic measures. If you completely and utterly lose control, the government government has to call to request the state of siege“, he summoned.


    On the other hand, Raul Castells, leader of the Independent Movement of Retired and Unemployed, acknowledged that he is encouraging looting, considering that the economic situation is unsustainable.

    The Argentine Minister of Security denounces that behind the looting attempts there are groups that seek to "generate a conflict"

    “We, who are calling for this, are telling you that without stealing money, or breaking anything, take what you can even if it’s to exchange for food,” he said by untying Milei and contradicting Cerruti’s complaints.

    To alleviate uncertainty, the Minister of Security, Anibal Fernandez, announced this Wednesday that the four federal security forces will form a unified command that will design a strategy to prevent these events from happening again.

    “When they cross the line, they will be arrested and denounced before the Justice. It is a very tough case, because it is a robbery in a town and in a gang that we are going to denounce,” he said, reiterating that they are not spontaneous attacks.

    However, he clarified that, unlike the presidential spokesperson, he is not involving the opposition.

    Source: RT

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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