More than 8,000 people have been arrested or temporarily detained in Argentina by members of the federal security forces since Friday for failing to comply with the mandatory isolation measures issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The figure was confirmed this morning by Security Secretary Eduardo Villalba, during an interview with the Futurock radio station.
He said 8,057 had been detained or arrested by security officials, of which 764 people were held and questioned as a result of traffic stops carried out by Gendarmerie and Coast Guard officers and officers from local and federal police forces. Some 60,000 vehicles have been stopped to date, Villalba added, saying that 369 cars had been towed away as a result.
The security official said it was difficult to say whether individuals had been arrested and detained at length, or held briefly.
"There are different situations – some go through being detained for several hours on the side of the road, waiting too see whether legal processes commence and, in the event an arrest is ordered, they are taken to a police station," he said, adding that individuals could be detained from six hours to a full day, depending on how busy the forces are.
He added that if individuals had resisted arrest, violently or not, that this is a "much more serious issue," meaning they can be detained "for several days" until the case progresses.
Villalba said getting a programme in place to enforce the quarantine had been a rapid process, adding that checkpoints in Buenos Aires Province and City had been in place since midday Friday.