The government promises “police concentration” and “anti-mafia” legislation in Rosario

Rosario is considered the most dangerous city in Argentina, with a homicide rate of 22 per 100,000 inhabitants, five times the national rate (4.2), making it one of the lowest in Latin America.

Argentina's government this Monday, March 11, promised a “police enrichment” program and special “anti-mafia”-type legislation to fight crime in the country's third city, Rosario, after a spate of murders and threats linked to local drug trafficking.

In a slow-moving city on Monday, with no taxis or buses and schools closed, Defense Minister Patricia Bulrich made clear at a news conference that the previous day's announcement to send federal troops – 450 men – to Rosario (pop. 1.3 million. ) would not become a “land of narco-terrorists.”

Patricia Bulrich announced that she would send an “anti-gang” law to parliament, which would target an association crime, “a new type of criminal prosecution, whereby the crimes of these gangs are attributed to any of its members, as opposed to the Mafia Penal Code in Italy”.

Four murders in five days

Rosario, a major gateway for grain exports, has not fallen prey to drug trafficking from neighboring countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay). For the purpose of racketeering or extortion.

A recent wave saw four murders in five days – of two taxi drivers, a bus driver and a gas station worker – which authorities analyzed as a “reaction” by jailed gang leaders against recent tightening of their detention conditions.

The governor of the province (Sante Fe) for three months, Maximiliano Bullaro, has detailed his campaign against jailed gangs and their leaders in recent weeks, with images of prisoners under tight control, such as Salvadoran President Nayeb Bukele.

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The recent spate of killings and threats to kill “other innocent people” have led school principals to suspend face-to-face classes from Monday, while demanding “rights for prisoners”.

Patricia Bulrich announced that she would ask the courts for the possibility of using the Anti-Terrorism Act during operations against the Rosario gangs, so that “any act aimed at threatening people would be punished with a double penalty”.

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