The Argentine police unrest in demand for higher wages which started last Monday in Cordoba has rapidly spread to at least eight other provinces and the central government in Buenos Aires is preparing for a major challenge. It has already sent special gendarmerie forces to Santa Fe and Cordoba, on request from the governors.
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich admitted on Saturday that the government of President Cristina Fernandez is following closely the situation in each district, but again insisted that this kind of conflicts are of exclusive provincial responsibility recalling that requesting support from Buenos Aires means complying with a specific protocol to which all must abide.
The provinces in conflict are Rio Negro, Neuquen, Santa Fe, La Rioja, San Juan, Chubut and Mendoza. In Cordoba the situation is considered under control following 36 hours of rampage when police forces went on strike leaving the streets, supermarkets and stores exposed to looting, robbing and extended violence. An estimated 1.000 commercial outlets were attacked.
In Catamarca apparently a last moment agreement was reached, but gendarmerie forces clashed with striking police officers.
Meantime in Buenos Aires province the main district and most populated of Argentina which suffered a very few outbreaks of looting by vandals, Alejandro Granados head of Security said the police forces are prepared for any situation and underlined how proud he was of the law enforcement officers he commands.
He also revealed that the provincial government has already increased some benefits, is looking into promotions and further increases are being considered for the force in the front line of combat against crime.