The head of Argentina’s organized labour, Hugo Moyano filed a complaint before a federal criminal court against cabinet chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina and Security Secretary Sergio Berni who openly and repeatedly accused the teamsters leader of being behind the extended rioting and looting of last week when four people were killed, hundreds injured and arrested and left millions of dollars in damages.
The complaint accuses the defendants of “violence instigation” and “false claims” when they stated that the teamsters union of Moyano and the gastronomic workers union of Luis Barrionuevo were responsible for the wide spread looting that started in the Patagonian resort of Bariloche and rapidly extended to at least another eight provinces, including Argentina’s second city Rosario and the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Last Thursday and Friday hundreds at different points in Argentina attacked supermarkets and shops demanding a Xmas basket, as had been promised by some government and political leaders, but the situation rapidly became chaotic with extended looting not only of food and beverages but also electrical appliances including the latest television sets.
Local police were overwhelmed in many places and special gendarmerie forces were sent in support. The situation was under control 36 hours later but the consequences of the attacks and looting persist with reciprocal accusations.
“These violent incidents want to derail social peace and the great moment Argentina is experiencing. There are parties interested in this happening. There are criminal gangs involved but also others linked to politics, to the teamsters, to the gastronomy unions” pointed out Abal Medina.
From Bariloche Security Secretary Berni who arrived in the city with 400 border guards to restore order said that the looting “was clearly organized” and responds “to political motivations”. He later directly claimed that the union leaders were behind the attacks on supermarkets and shops.
Moyano in a press conference said that the “lackeys” which President Cristina Fernandez has surrounding her “are afraid of her and spend their time saying stupidities” instead of telling the president “she is out of touch with the people and inflation is devouring workers’ incomes”.
Meanwhile on Wednesday it was reported that a 36-year-old woman died at a local hospital after being shot during the supermarket lootings in the city of Rosario, while a 17-year-old male was reported dead on Monday, taking up the death toll from the incidents to four.
Carina Paz had been admitted to hospital to be treated after receiving a shot to the head during the incidents that turned violent at a supermarket in downtown Rosario. The other victim Emiliano Sánchez, died of his wounds four days after being shot in the leg.
In total, the death toll following the looting incidents rose to four people, including the death of 23-year-old Luciano Carrizo and Silvia Bernachea.
Meanwhile the province of Río Negro government announced it will compensate the small and medium-sized shop-owners who were affected by the looting last week in Bariloche.
According to the Río Negro Tax Collection Agency (ARTRN), the compensation will have a limit of up to 30.000 Pesos (approx 5.000 dollars) and will cover damages including repairs and lost capital.