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ARGENTINA | 02-03-2023 16:15

Violence in Rosario persists with 19 homicides in January

The year 2022 closed with a record 288 homicides in Greater Rosario, with January’s 19 homicides promising a continuation to the incessant violence in the city. Estimates show that 2023 will follow the same path or even exceed last year's number of crimes.

The year 2022 closed with a record 288 homicides in Greater Rosario, with January’s 19 homicides promising a continuation to the incessant violence in the city. 

The Santa Fe Province Security Ministry and leaders of the Public Prosecutor's Office (MPA) estimate that 2023 will follow the same path or even exceed last year's number of crimes.

With a surge in violence in recent weeks, and threats and bullets fired at a supermarket in the city belonging to the family of the wife of star footballer Lionel Messi, the national spotlight has refocused on Rosario's drug-related violence. 

Recent incidents including a long Carnival weekend that left seven dead and the alarming murder of the street musician "Jimi" Altamirano in front of the Newell's stadium have contributed to this year's growing number of homicides.

Rosario Mayor Pablo Javkin, as well as city residents themselves have insisted that the national government, which controls security forces in the region must do more to combat the city's incessant crimewave.

Javkin has repeatedly asked for more support from President Alberto Fernández and the Security Ministry, saying in response to the supermarket shooting: "I want them here. The governor told me he was coming. I want you here. How far is the president from here? Half an hour? Come here. I am the mayor of the city. Let's be clear: I don't run the security forces. And when I asked, they wouldn't let me. So, those who have responsibility, let them come here."

He added: "It is very clear that it is easy to harm Rosario and that there is not a damn bit of concrete help." 

Relatives, victims and neighbours of violence took to the city's streets in February, marching under the slogan "Rosario bleeds, wants peace and wants life," demanding improved security measures to tackle the violence. 

In comments made to a local radio station, campaigner Ezequiel Lowden, a member of the Familiares y Víctimas de la Inseguridad - Rosario NGO, said that  "We are asking for investment in security, technology and means of investigation." 

"We need the state to respond, for the political class to sit down at a discussion table and reach an agreement on this issue," said Lowden, a member of the collective that was formed in 2017 to bring together relatives of victims of the violence and to raise awareness of the problem. 

Last December, National Security Minister Aníbal Fernández ordered the dispatch of 200 border patrol officers and 1,000 federal forces, though the measure proved to be insufficient to contain the growing violence. 

 

––TIMES/NA/Perfil

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