Photo: Kunz Wolfgang / Alamy

An Argentine mayor from the northeastern province of Santa Fe has proposed a rather ‘striking’ approach for resolving crime in Argentina: eliminate democracy, bring back corporal punishment.

Speaking on local television, mayor of San Jorge, Enrique Marucci, said “if I was President of the nation, I would close Congress and do everything myself, because as long as we have democracy and these laws, we won’t solve the problem of insecurity. We have to go back to being strict, to the rod. Rod, rod and rod for everyone, put the whole world in jail; it’s the only solution.”

Frustrated by high levels of crime not only in his town, but in Argentina, Marucci lambasted the provincial and Federal Government for their failure to work together to pass legislation that would work towards reducing crime. “I would close the legislature and Congress because they’re incapable of working together to modify the laws. They have very different internal political and ideological problems to be able to attend to our current needs.”

In particular, he drew attention to what he perceives as “soft” laws that favor the perpetrator and not the victim: “the laws are very permissive, suspects are not apprehended. What’s more, human right defenders are given an overly big role in the process. Before they would intervene to help victims and now they intervene to help criminals get out of jail. I say this because of the feeling of impotence I feel here, and in the whole country.”

Marucci’s comments are extreme, but they deserve some context. Santa Fe, the province where San Jorge is located, is beset by violence, with over 1,000 killed in connection to drug trafficking since the year 2012, according to La Nacion.  From all accounts, it’s a nefarious affair, with evidence that the police force and judiciary are implicated in drug dealing; even Minister of Security for the Nation, Patricia Bullrich, has acknowledged that, in Santa Fe, “we have to the root” of the problem with crime.

Still, here’s to hoping Marucci never becomes President.