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ARGENTINA | 22-12-2023 21:40

Argentina's government to bill protesters for security costs

Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni says organisers of this week's protest will have to cough up 60 million pesos (US$73,000 at the official exchange rate).

The organisers of the first protest against President Javier Milei's government will have to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to cover the cost of security forces deployed to the demonstration, the government's spokesman said Friday.

Thousands turned out for the march on Wednesday to oppose Milei's austerity measures and commemorate the deadly 2001 protests that followed the country's economic meltdown.

Spokesman Manuel Adorni said a heavy deployment of police, security officers and anti-riot forces, cost 60 million pesos (US$73,000 at the official exchange rate).

"The bill will be sent to the social movements" who will "bear the responsibility of the cost which should not fall on citizens."

Organizers had criticised the heavy show of security as an attempt at provocation.

"This reminds me of the dictatorship" of 1976 to 1983, said Eduardo Belliboni, leader of the leftist movement Polo Obrero.

The security operation was supervised from police headquarters by the right-wing president's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, televised images showed.

Milei's government has sought to clamp down on hundreds of annual traffic-clogging demonstrations in the capital, also threatening to withdraw social assistance from those who block roads.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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