October 31, 2014
Randazzo: train vandal’s parents must pay up
Transport Minister takes aim at underage culprits who spray-painted new train cars
The parents of a teenager caught spray-painting one of the carriages of the new passenger trains recently imported from China for the Sarmiento train line will have to pay for the cost of removing the graffiti, Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo said yesterday.
Randazzo, who called a press conference over the matter and did not hide his anger that the trains had been vandalized so shortly after their unveiling, chose strong words to describe the underage offenders, saying if it had been his child “I’d kick his butt, for being an asshole.”
The minister who has presidential aspirations for 2015 vowed not to back down.
“We’ll go all the way (in this case). We want the minors’ parents to know that we will be asking for compensation for the damages caused by their children,” he said.
The incident occurred at around 7pm on Sunday in the Puerto Madero neighourhood where the new trains are being temporarily held. According to Randazzo, security officials noticed two individuals “acting strangely” and decided to detain them.
One of the minors managed to escape and the other was caught as he tried to flee in a taxi carrying a bag containing spray paint.
The minister confirmed that the area where the trains were being kept was being monitored by security officials, but that the teenagers had managed to enter the facility on Madero Avenue and finished the job “within minutes.”
The detained youth was then transferred to the Inchausti Institute for Minors in Balvanera neighourhood, where he was freed hours later and handed over to his parents.
Randazzo confirmed yesterday the “criminal complaint had been lodged with the Federal Court No. 14 under judge Sebastián Casanello,” where he said the teenager’s parents “are going to have to answer economically to the cost of (removing) the graffiti from a zero-kilometre car.”
In explaining his anger, Randazzo noted that “each car is valued at US$1.27 million.”
Talking to Radio América, Randazzo took issue with journalists who wondered whether the issue warranted a press conference.
“Please, of course it’s worth it,” he charged. “How is it not worth it to have a press conference? They should be killed, they make you feel like killing them, how can someone be such an imbecile?”
He later added: “Well, one has to be balanced when it comes to minors and assess their realities.”
72 new train cars
The vandalized government property forms part of the 72 new train cars that were unveiled by Randazzo and President Cristina Ferández de Kirchner on Thursday.
The cars were imported from China and are destined for the Sarmiento train line, which has grown in infamy over the past few years for being run-down, dirty and overcrowded. It is also known for the 2012 Once train crash, which saw a Sarmiento train service collide into the City’s Once terminal, killing 51 people and leaving hundreds injured.
The government, which has come under fire for alleged mismanagement of railway services, has been keen to talk up the new investment in the Sarmiento train line, while also urging users to take care of the newly-purchased cars, which it says will increase frequency for the service and improve general travel conditions for passengers.
“These trains have to be taken care of. Not every country has equipment of this quality, and not every country has a subsidized train ticket that benefits the working class,” Fernández de Kirchner said Thursday.
A total of 225 new train cars are expected for the train line connecting the capital with the western districts of Greater Buenos Aires. The remainder is due to arrive from China within three months, while the 72 cars unveilled Thursday should be operational in 60 days time, the government says.
Herald with DyN, Télam