October 21, 2014
Police, gendarmes evict 'Pope Francis' squatters
Buenos Aires City Metropolitan police and national military police have conducted an eviction in the so called “Pope Francis” settlement in the City’s neighbourhood of Lugano.
The eviction came after the alleged killer of Melina López – an 18-year-old that was shot to death during a theft attempt earlier on Tuesday – was found in the settlement.
Around 800 officers took part in the operation, with bulldozers and trucks being deployed to remove settlers’ precarious houses and belongings.
Buenos Aires City Security Minister Guillermo Montenegro confirmed six people have been arrested after they resisted the eviction and that two security agents resulted injured.
The order for the eviction was ruled by Judge María Gabriela López Iñíguez.
“The judge told (the police) to get ready to guarantee the protection of the area and avoid a re-occupation by settlers and proceed to the destruction of precarious houses to move on with the recuperation of the land,” City’s Prosecutor General Julio Conte Grand explained.
The clearing of the area had been decided first in March but political accusations between the federal and local authorities held up the eviction.
“The operation has been long prepared and the exact moment was being waited for. It was decided that this was the right time to carry it out,” López Grand told reporters adding the eviction has been practically “finished.”