Argentina’s former governing PRO (Propuesta Republicana) party, founded by ex-president Mauricio Macri and now chaired by his former security minister Patricia Bullrich, on Wednesday repudiated “institutional violence” in the country, expressing concern about recent events in the provinces of Tucumán, Chaco and Santiago del Estero.
Via a communiqué titled “Decimos no a la violencia institucional” (“We say no to institutional violence”), the party cited “the lifeless bodies of Florencia Magali Morales and Franco Maranguello showing up in police precinct cells in the province of San Luis; the forced disappearance and subsequent of Luis Espinoza in Tucumán whose body was later found abandoned in Catamarca; the death of Hugo Coronel in Santiago del Estero after being arrested in the 10th precinct, as well as the brutal aggression against a Qom family in Chaco, requiring a most rigorous investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice to account for their actions.”
Along these lines, the party highlighted that it was inadmissible that "taking cover in enforcing sanitary policies and compulsory social isolation, the human rights of Argentines are violated and far less when life itself is taken.”
The communiqué held the provincial governments "responsible," asking them to comment and “act in consequence.”
"PRO requires full respect for constitutional guarantees and asks that the national government not be indifferent because silence is complicity," the communiqué sustained, adding: "We Argentines want to live in peace and safety. We want to feel looked after."
The release of the statement sparked an immediate backlash of criticism on the social networks, with many citing controversial incidents that happened during the four-year period (2011-2015) during which PRO, as part of Macri’s Cambiemos coalition, governed the country.
Along these lines critics questioned the security forces over the cases of the deaths of Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel, the defence of the policeman Luis Chocobar and the police handling of protests against proposed pension reform, among other demonstrations.
Frente de Todos deputy Leonardo Grosso said he shared the concerns but questioned the communiqué fiercely.
“I share the concern, of course, but don’t be cheeky. Your party’s chairwoman dedicated herself to justifying murders and human rights violations throughout four years!!!” he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Trade unionist and deputy Hugo Yasky was equally sarcastic while Frente de Izquierda leader Myriam Bregman pointed out that “PRO not only exercised institutional violence but persecuted those of us who denounced it, spying on those who denounced the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado,” in a post on social media.