Mendoza Policemen Suspended Due to Negligence: Four police officers and five civilian employees were sanctioned after it was found they ignored calls to the emergency phone line, 911, which could have prevented a fatal road accident. On Friday 8th February, between 2.47 and 3.02pm, the emergency service received three calls alerting them to the erratic behaviour of a lorry driver, who was seen driving recklessly, allegedly drunk and against traffick on route 7, which runs between Mendoza and Córdoba. Later, between 5.34 and 5.44, five more calls were made to 911 indicating that the same person was driving against traffic. Only a minute later, at 5.45, the truck crashed against a bus, killing 17 people and injuring 14. “According to our register, he drove against traffic on the motorway for at least ten minutes,” said Juan Carlos Caleri, General Director of the Mendoza police. Caleri also informed that all the audio and video files which registered the lorry that day were sent to the prosecutor over the weekend, “to analyse the actions of the police officers in the hours before the tragedy.”
AFIP Denies Changes to Foreign Currency Purchases: In a statement released this morning, tax agency AFIP denied having made changes to the criteria used to allow purchases of foreign currencies, as reported by an article on La Nación. The purchase of foreign currency “works normally and without alterations,” says the statement, which also confirms that the conditions to allow for these purchases are set out by the Central Bank. The article published in today’s print edition of La Nación, under the headline ‘Without prior notice AFIP restricted the purchase of [US] dollars for savings‘, warned that “Without admitting it publicly, AFIP arbitrarily restricted in February the limits it applies to the purchase of [US] dollars, both for some self-employed workers and for employees, as La Nación confirmed through different savers.” Through their website www.dialogofiscal.gob.ar, AFIP informed that 330,575 operations of foreign currency purchases were registered between 27th January -when these transactions were authorised- and 7th February, for a total amount of US$176,977,706. Over 151,000 of these transactions were performed last week.
Irregularities in Iron Mountain Warehouse Revealed: Edgardo Castro, an inspector at the Buenos Aires Labour Sub-secretariat, revealed that, in 2008, he closed down the warehouse that burned down last week, killing nine firefighters. “I requested for that place to be closed down because basically it had deficiencies in its fire protection system. There was too much flammable material, the hoses didn’t work, there were no sprinklers, and there were obstacles in the hallways,” said Castro. Though his request was granted and the warehouse was closed down, he was later removed from the case. Speaking to news agency Télam, Castro also said that the neighbourhood of Barracas is “like a powder keg” due to the number of buildings that do not meet basic safety requirements: “If they don’t employ capable inspectors, these things will continue to happen, on a smaller or greater scale they will continue to happen, it’s a matter of time.”