Police officers in Buenos Aires Province of Argentina continued their protests on Wednesday to demand higher salaries and better working conditions, but the situation seems to be coming to an end following promises of announcements this Thursday meeting the demands.
Buenos Aires province Axel Kicillof and his Security Secretary Sergio Berni are expected to announce pay increases above 40% and a promise that the protestors will not be sanctioned.
Anyhow the day was full of political events, when patrol cars organized an embrace surrounding the presidential residence in Olivos, with horns and sirens which demanded the presence of the Gendarmerie Special Forces.
President Alberto Fernandez twice invited representatives from the protestors to dialogue inside the residence but this was rejected demanding the president to come out of the grounds and talk.
The presence of the patrol cars surrounding the residence immediately triggered a reply from the political system, the ruling coalition and opposition, in support of the presidential figure.
But a few minutes before this show of support the mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta was informed that the foot of the bill to end the conflict in the province will be taken from his share of the co-participation funds distributed by the central government among the country's 24 provinces,
Taken aback by the news Rodriguez Larreta promised to reply on Thursday to the snatching of Buenos Aires residents' legitimately earned funds. In effect the Argentine capital is the main fiscal contributor to the Treasury and the less benefited.
But there is a clear political motivation behind the move.
The province of Buenos Aires is the turf of the Kirchner government and electoral stronghold, while the capital has been historically under the control of the opposition.
And in October 2021, Argentina will be holding midterm elections and with the pandemic and recession the K government of Alberto Fernandez is not in a good position.
Crime and insecurity are rampant in metropolitan Buenos Aires, jurisdiction of the provincial police, which is also known or considered as the most corrupt force of the country.
Anyhow it must also be said that the provincial police with the strict lockdown in Argentina is missing all the sports and leisure activities, which generate extra income (from soccer to horse racing) and have also become the first line of combat against the coronavirus, apparently with no specific gear or equipment, when making sure everybody remains at home or patrolling to ensure everyone abides by restrictions.
The force, 90,000 strong, claims at least 7,000 of them tested positive, and in many instances are sent back to continue patrolling.
So Thursday will also be a day full of events, the expected announcement to end the police force protest and the Buenos Aires City most probably appealing to the Supreme Court for its share of the funds now redirected to end the province's conflict.
President Alberto Fernandez and vice president Cristina Kirchner have long preached that it was time for the opulent city of Buenos Aires to share its wealth with the poorer provinces of Argentina.