Argentina woke up this Wednesday shocked by the violent death of an eleven-year-old girl. Shortly before half past seven in the morning, two motorcycle thieves assaulted Morena near her school, in the Buenos Aires town of Lanús. They dragged her across the ground to steal her backpack and gave her a blow to the head that knocked her unconscious. The emergency service managed to revive her and rushed her to a hospital, but she died of cardiac arrest. This serious case of insecurity paralyzed the Argentine electoral campaign four days before the primary elections. Numerous pre-candidates spoke out on the case and announced the suspension of scheduled political events.
The crime was recorded by a security camera. In the images, viralized through social networks, you can see the escape of the criminals on the motorcycle while the victim is lying on the ground.
Fathers and mothers demonstrated in front of the Almafuerte school to demand justice and security. Furious, they denounced to the media that the ambulance took forty minutes to arrive at the scene. According to their testimonies, the surroundings of the educational establishment are “an area liberated” by the police that is the scene of frequent robberies. “She was my daughter’s best friend, eleven years old, her life was taken from her by a cell phone, I am devastated, I don’t know how to tell my daughter,” said a mother before the cameras on the verge of tears. “This happens every day, we cannot go out, we are afraid. Today it was Morena, tomorrow is my baby? ”, Questioned another.
The Lanús chief of staff, Diego Kravetz, confirmed the death and reported the launch of an operation to find the attackers. Police sources reported that the first detainee was a 14-year-old teenager, but the Buenos Aires Secretary of Security, Sergio Berni, later assured that the suspects are of legal age.
The mayor of Lanús, Néstor Grindetti, announced the suspension of all campaign activities scheduled for the final stretch of the campaign. Grindetti, a pre-candidate for governor for the opposition alliance Juntos por el Cambio, ordered the creation of a crisis committee to guarantee security in the area and received the relatives of Morena. The governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, also announced the suspension of his electoral acts and promised that the crime “will not go unpunished.” As the hours passed, other candidates followed his example.
Lanús is a city of almost half a million inhabitants attached to the Argentine capital, the largest municipality in the Buenos Aires suburbs governed by JxC. Patricia Bullrich, a pre-candidate for president for the opposition coalition, had planned to celebrate the closing ceremony of her campaign there with Grindetti on Thursday, but she also decided to suspend it.
Neighbors of Lanús mobilized in front of the doors of the police station closest to the school. Shouting “corrupt” and “justice”, the protesters unleashed their anger on the police, whom they accuse of doing nothing against crime.
The violent death of Morena revived the speeches that demand a strong hand against crime and the requests to lower the age of prosecution, which today is 16 years.
In the final stretch of the electoral campaign, the case also became a throwing weapon between supporters of JxC and the Peronist alliance Unión por la Patria. The former blamed the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, while the latter pointed to Grindetti, who in April applied for a license to take charge of the Independiente soccer club.
The third political force in contention, La Libertad Avanza, considered the two great coalitions to be accomplices in what had happened. “Nothing will change if they vote for the same people as always, because they are part of the problem and of the “solutions” that do not solve anything. Cry out to heaven that a girl is murdered for a cell phone”, tweeted the pre-candidate for vice president for this far-right party, Victoria Villarruel.
This Sunday Argentina celebrates primary elections to define the candidates that will compete for the presidency. The electoral campaign has been focused on the economy, but this death has diverted the focus towards insecurity.
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