A man and a 36-year-old woman have reportedly been killed in a confrontation between rioters and police in Rosario following the looting of supermarkets and shops.
Looting has so far been reported in Rosario, Bariloche, Campana, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and Chaco. Yesterday’s looting of two supermarkets in Bariloche are believed to be the spark that triggered the uprisings in the other Argentine cities.
Yesterday morning in Bariloche, a group of organised looters with their faces covered by ski masks and scarves attacked the Chango Más supermarket, stealing mainly clothes and electronics. After an initial retreat due to the arrival of police forces more looters returned to the scene and trashed the supermarket as well as a number of vehicles parked in its vicinity. By this time the local police were overwhelmed and responded with teargas and rubber bullets.
The security secretary, Sergio Berni, was then sent from Buenos Aires yesterday with 400 gendarmes in an attempt to pacify the area and prevent the lootings to spread to other locations across the country. An objective they have fallen short of, as in the last 24 hours a number of violent rioting and looting have been reported.
The on-going conflict has already taken a political turn as questions have been raised about the origin of the rioting. Oscar Borchichi, private secretary of Bariloche Mayor Omar Goye told Radio Mitre: “I want to make it very clear that this has nothing to do with the social situation. There are no doubts that this was orchestrated, it was kindled by some political force.”
So far the lootings have spared the capital although attacks were reported near Campana in Buenos Aires province, roughly 80 kilometres from the city. There, dozens of people attacked a supermarket last night, on national Route No9 according to InfoCampana. Claudio Rodriguez, the secretary of the Campana cabinet, announced today that “there are over 100 [people] detained” in relation to the looting.