Social organizations, relatives of victims of police brutality, and human rights groups marched in Argentina Monday against what they call security forces’ “trigger happy” approach to crime fighting, which has seen a person killed every 23 hours according to the Coordinating Committee Against Police and Institutional Repression (Correpi for its Spanish acronym).
Thousands marched in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Mar del Plata, and Rosario chanting “Not one less kid! Not one more bullet!” and “The state is responsible.” Relatives and friends of people killed by Argentine security forces also marched holding pictures of their loved ones.
Maria del Carmen Verdu, one of the lawyers of the Correpi, said “this doesn’t happen because there is a madman on the loose or a psychopath recruited by mistake, this is part of state policy. (Police violence) is a form of control and meant to discipline vulnerable populations of working-class neighborhoods.”
According to the activist this situation has worsened since president Mauricio Macri assumed the presidency in 2015. She argues this is due to the government’s open defense of what she calls extrajudicial killings.
As an example, Verdu cites the case of Juan Palo Kukoc, who was shot in the back while running after stabbing and robbing a tourist in Buenos Aires. The government publicly defended the policeman and provided him with legal assistance.
This is the fourth march against police brutality, a phenomenon that disproportionately affects young people under the age of 25 in working-class and vulnerable communities.
They demand the state take actions to address this situation, which has increased in the past years.
According to Marile Di Filippo, a researcher and activist “With the Cambiemos government this worsened notably due to their security policies.” Di Filippo mentioned the cases of activist Santiago Maldonado and Mapuche man Rafael Nahuel, that gained international attention.
“There is no guarantee of justice, which could provide reparations to the families… We want this march to also be a message to the judges who have issued shameful rulings,” Di Filippo added.