The Argentine police violently repressed this Wednesday (10) an act by popular movements in the capital, Buenos Aires, which demanded an end to the cuts to popular kitchens, called eaters. Preliminary information indicates that at least 12 people were detained and several were injured.

There are numerous reports of police brutality against protesters, who gathered in front of the Ministry of Human Capital. Police forces, both federal and from the city of Buenos Aires, launched tear gas bombs and fired rubber bullets and water cannons at those taking part in the event on Avenida 9 de Julio, in the central region of Buenos Aires.

One of the injured was journalist Diego Ricciardi, from TV Chroniclewho was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and told the newspaper Argentinian time which saw several protesters being shot in the same way. “They were detained and, even though they were lying on the ground, they continued to be attacked,” he said.

The security forces’ argument for the violence, which, according to local press, lasted around 20 minutes, was that the protesters violated anti-picketing protocol. The set of repressive rules was announced by Javier Milei’s government a few days after taking office in December.

The protocol prohibits the blocking of streets and other public roads in the country due to political demonstrations and protests. Anyone who sets up “pickets” that impede total or partial circulation may be arrested red-handed. “Without freedom there is no order, and without order there is no progress”, said at the time a statement released to the press by PatrĂ­cia Bullrich, then a defeated candidate for president and who became part of the Milei government.

In this Wednesday’s demonstration, the great popular participation meant that the event took part of Av. 9 de Julio, until it was completely closed. This began the repression, ordered by the Ministry of Security, led by Bullrich.

The protest was against Milei’s policy that scrapped the eaters. Around 40 thousand of these community kitchens stopped receiving food from the federal government, and began to depend on municipal and state support, in addition to donations.

Milei’s measure comes at a time when there is an increase in the number of people turning to eaters. Currently, around 57% of the population is currently below the poverty line, the worst rate since the great crisis of 2002.

Editing: Thalita Pires


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