November 23, 2014
'Attackers are murderers not neighbours'
Aligned with yesterday’s statements by Supreme Court Judge Raúl Zaffaroni, National Security Secretary Sergio Berni has said that those who committed the lynching of alleged thieves “are not neighbours but murderers” and called for the “penal code harshness” to probe the case.
“They are not neighbours but killers,” Berni told reporters today and considered that such criminal events “must be condemned” using the “harshness of the Penal Code.”
“What happened in the City of Buenos Aires is worrying but a group of neighbours does not represent the Argentine society, we are 40 million people,” the official stressed.
Over the past weeks, at least 12 lynching cases have spread across the country prompting a debate about the battle against crime in Argentina . An 18-year old was beat to death in the city of Rosario in the province of Santa Fe on March 26 after he had allegedly robbed a woman’s purse. In BA City, another mob attack was reported on Sunday in the neighbourhood of Palermo.
A 'revolving door' and Massa
Berni renewed his criticism of the judicial branch referring to the “revolving door” of the legal system, with criminals being detained but freed “15 or 20 days later.” “I understand society is fed up with the revolving door of the judicial system but it will be inappropriate to use a lethal weapon to stop a thief who steals a cell phone,” he assured and added that the security office is working along with the Ministry of Justice “to create new tools” and prevent such cases “from ever happening again.”
“Instead of a demagogic speech, justices should be provided with instruments to resolve citizens’ daily problems,” Berni added, now targeting Renewal Front lawmaker Sergio Massa who had tied the lynching cases to what he described “the absence of the state.”