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News > Argentina

Argentine President Rejects Threats Against Soccer Player Messi

  • Leonardo Messi (R) and his wife Antonela Rocuzzo (L).

    Leonardo Messi (R) and his wife Antonela Rocuzzo (L). | Photo: Twitter/ @nipsor

Published 3 March 2023

The city of Rosario has become one of the areas hardest hit by violence and insecurity prompted by drug gangs.

On Thursday, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez commented on the attack on soccer player Leonel Messi and acknowledged that gang-related violence represent a serious problem in some urban areas.


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"We are doing a lot, but obviously something more will have to be done," Fernandez said, adding that violence and organized crime is a very serious issue in Rosario, the hometown of the Argentine national team player.

In the early hours of Thursday, unidentified individuals fired 14 shots at the doors of a supermarket belonging to the family of Antonela Rocuzzo, Messi's wife.

Besides shooting at the premises, the criminals left a message explicitly dedicated to the captain of the Argentine team: "Messi we are waiting for you," they wrote, adding that the Rosario Mayor "Javkin is also a drug trafficker and he will not take care of you."

Located in the Santa Fe province, Rosario has become one of the areas hardest hit by violence and insecurity prompted by drug gangs, which began to take shape in the late 1990s.

This happened "when the international community established restrictions on the importation and commercialization of precursor chemicals in coca leaf producing countries such as Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia," said Pablo Baisotti, a Brasilian researcher on security.

"Around 60 percent of the homicides registered during 2021 in Rosario are linked to the development of the illegal economy or the operation of criminal organizations," he added in an article published in the Small Wars Journal.

On Wednesday, the Argentine President harshly criticized the Lower House for not approving his judicial reform proposal, which would make the processing of processes and the administration of justice viable.

Santa Fe suffers from "the lack of courts that prevent the rapid prosecution of organized crime, which has expanded into its territory," Fernandez said in his opening speech for ordinary sessions in Parliament.

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