March 8, 2014
Capitanich, De la Sota condemn police protests
The cabinet chief and Córdoba governor held a joint press conference at the government house this morning both repudiating the wave of looting and violence that have spread across the country’s central region following a salary protest by provincial security forces over the past days. “Police can not go on strike because thieves don’t strike,’ Juan Manuel De la Sota warned.
“We ubderstand the people of Argentina want peace and harmony, these are protests that deserve everybody’s condemnation. Argentineans celebrate 30 years of uninterrupted democratic exercise, with our differences but guaranteeing pluralism,” Jorge Capitanich said as he renewed the federal government’s position that security is an “exclusive power” of each provincial district as established by the National Constitution.
The head of ministers did praise the “joint efforts” made not only along with the government of Córdoba, but also with the provinces of Santa Fe and Buenos Aires also struck by looting and police protests. In that sense, Capitanich highlighted the decision of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration to deploy military police in the affected areas. “These wera anarchic, violent groups carrying arms and extorting democratic governments,” the minister stated as Argentineans mark these days 30 years since the South American country’s return to democracy.
Reporters at the Casa Rosada presidential palace queried Capitanich about the death toll in the province of Chaco also hit by the police crisis. While media reported four people have died during clashes, the ex governor of Chaco only confirmed two dead.
“I am worry about Chaco’s (situation). On October 27 we got 60.67 percent of the votes and we now find these expressions. We have identified two people died in the incidents. The death of a person must worry us all because no demand must be carry out through the track of violence. Being a police officer is to protect citizens not to provoque anxiety,” he affirmed as he referred to the recent legislative midterms when the then governor of Chaco secured Kirchnerism one of a few electoral triumphs.
In his turn, the Governor of Córdoba apologized to society for the conflict that aroused in his province last week and that political and social sectors have blamed on for firing up protests in other districts across the country.
“I take this opportunity to apologize to the people of Córdoba who were expecting more from us, from the national government and the police. We recognize when things go wrong,” De la Sota said at the beginning of his address and added that it was “unthinkable that a salary demand ended up this way with the police leaving people to their safe.”
The governor described the crisis in Córdoba as “18 horrific and indescribable hours” that other provinces are now going through. “The responsibility of the state can not be delegated,” he admitted and thanked the deployment of gendarmes to help settle the conflict.
De la Sota also brought to the table what he considered the need to revise strike rights involving public service sectors. “Citizens can not be left defenceless. These issues must be regulated,” he assured.
A journalist covering the press conference asked the governor if he considered the Córdoba situation “triggered” the wave of protests that other provincial administrations are still coping with. “There was a demand that was controlled; serious is the way of expression of the protets, it is indescribable that a police abandons his duty. There is an unanimous condemnation of the people of Argentina of the police,” De la Sota said as the 47-minute conference was about to end.