Federal Troops Sent after Supermarket Looting in Southern Argentina

By Dialogo
December 24, 2012

The Argentine government sent federal troops to Bariloche, after lootings on December 20 by dozens of people in several supermarkets took place, one of which was the American chain Walmart, said the National Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina.

“The federal forces, requested by the provincial government, are leaving to Bariloche to collaborate and keep the city in order,” Abal Medina told the press.

On the morning of December 20, dozens of looters armed with sticks entered a Changomás store, which belongs to Walmart, located in a suburb in Bariloche, and they took television sets, bicycles, and electrical appliances, according to witnesses. “The situation is not under control; this is worrying. More people are increasingly joining.”

The official said that “even a safe” was robbed at one of the stores, and added that he was not aware of who the looters were that broke into the stores.

The Cabinet Chief put the blame on “small marginal and violent organizations” for the lootings, and linked these events to the blackout that took place in half of Neuquén province on December 19, adjacent to Rio Negro.

The 50,000-inhabitant city of Bariloche is a beautiful Andean village surrounded by lakes, where thousands of tourists arrive during the winter every year to practice skiing, and many visitors for the summer season also come.

The economy of this Patagonion city, where the main activity is tourism, was seriously affected in 2010, when the village was covered in ashes from the Chilean volcano Puyehue, which left it off the beaten track for some time, a situation from which it gradually recovered.