In Argentina, One Person Dies Every 28 Hours from Police Repression

BUENOS AIRES – One person dies in Argentina every 28 hours as a result of repression by state security forces, according to a report by the Committee against Police and Institutional Repression, or Correpi, which was published Saturday in the local press.

The report, the 14th to be prepared by the group, indicates that in the first 10 months of the year there were 269 deaths registered and that since 1996 to date some 2,826 people have died as a consequence of police repression.

This “is a record of all known cases in which the repressive apparatus of the state has killed, through its different agencies and using different methods,” the report, published Saturday in the Buenos Aires daily Pagina/12, said.

The text recounts the illegal practices used by police forces including “trigger-happy cops,” deaths in jails and police stations, shooting at protests and other demonstrations, plus the deaths “within the force or among families” (when the perpetrator uses the resources of the state to resolve a family conflict).

Though the report considers it “impossible to calculate the number killed by trigger-happy cops or how many people have died in jails and police stations, the cases of this kind recorded are more than half of the total (1,453), while there have been 52 fatalities at popular demonstrations and protests.

More than half of the deaths were lower-class males under 25 years of age, indicating that young people are “the favorite target” of these repressive actions.

The other side of the story was published Saturday in the Buenos Aires newspaper Perfil, which said that 23 policemen have been slain in Buenos Aires province so far this year, an increase over previous years.

All these deaths, together with those that did not involve the police, are the reason why the insecurity reigning in the country is one of Argentine society’s biggest concerns and why demonstrations demanding greater security have multiplied in recent months.

This week around 500 residents of the Buenos Aires suburb of Wilde protested for days following the murder of an architect by a gang of criminals.

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