May 19, 2013
Gendarmerie, Coast Guard chiefs relieved from command
As the conflict with Gendarmerie and Coast Guard officials continues, Security Minister Nilda Garré, along with Security secretary Sergio Berni, decided to relieve the heads from both forces, ministry sources announced. Gendarmerie officials warned they would engage in additional protests if the National Government did not come up with a solution to their salary demands.
Garré announced later that she was relieving ten Coast Guard general prefects and ten Gendarmerie general commanders in response to the mutiny staged by both forces.
In a press conference in which she did not take any questions, Garré announced that the head of the Border Patrol, Héctor Schenone, had been replaced by commander general Enrique Zach, while the Coast Guard’s Oscar Arce was replaced by general prefect Luis Alberto Heiler.
They had both tendered their resignations earlier on Wednesday and the protests continued.
“The situation in both armed forces has been normalized,” she assured.
The Security Ministry also designated commander general José Pereyra as replacement of former Gendarmerie deputy chief Juan Obdulio Sainz.
Since yesterday, both forces have staged several protests around the country to reject a recent cut in salaries, which came in effect after the signing of decree 1307/12, which suppressed supplementary payments.
They staged their protest outside the Centinela building in Retiro, and shortly after noon, members of the Navy joined the protest as well, despite Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina’s assurance that salaries would be paid as normal.