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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Argentinians Fed Up With Crime...

... and have started turning to street justice. A couple stories from Merco Press. First, this one from last week:
“They are not neighbors, we are dealing with murderers,” Sergio Berni told La Red radio in Buenos Aires. Over the past 10 days, there have been 12 known cases nationwide of public beatings, and worse, of suspected attackers or rapists. 
The most serious of the cases occurred last week in the city of Rosario, where a man was beaten to death by a group of residents after he is said to have stolen the purse of a woman who was walking along with her daughter. 
“These cases must be condemned with the rigor of the penal code,” said the security secretary. 
Berni acknowledged, however, that the public sometimes “gets fed up” and reacts in this way because many criminals, once they are arrested by the police, are then freed by the courts.
The "lynchings" have led at least one provincial governor to declare a state of emergency:
“This is a fight to defend the most sacred, life” governor of Buenos Aires province Daniel Scioli said and called on “all political forces” to coordinate efforts in the battle against crime. Escorted by all of his cabinet ministers, Scioli held a press conference in the City of La Plata to declare a 12-month security emergency in the province which represents over 35% of the electorate registry. 
“The emergency is the legal instrument we have to speed up the investments we need to do to face the kind of crime we are dealing with and the decisions we need to make,” Scioli told reporters and explained the anti-crime measures will involve an investment of 600 million pesos in security equipment through the Banco Provincia financing. Among other measures, is the “immediate call” to retired agents from both the provincial police and penitentiary system to rejoin prevention actions aiming at a 5,000-member force.
The Scioli administration will be as well submitting several bills to the provincial legislature, such as a project to “limit prisoners’ release” in a process to be “oral and public” and another one that involves “effective prison terms” in cases of unauthorized weapon carrying.
The article indicates that the given reason for the declaration was a series of shootings, but cynically notes that the real reason is the lynchings. I would agree. Like the reaction to Mexico's self-defense forces, the government is more concerned about losing its "monopoly on violence" to the citizens, than controlling crime.

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