In response to Saturday’s tragedy at the Time Warp music festival where five people died after taking what is thought to have been an ecstasy-based pill called “Superman,” a public prosecutor today ordered the arrest of one of the events’ organizers.
As five more people remain in the hospital in critical condition, Prosecutor Federico Delgado called for the arrest of organizer Adrián Conci, president of the company Dell Producciones S.A., the events company that runs Time Warp and a number of similar electronic music festivals.
The main issues raised by Delgado to warrant Conci’s arrest was the selling of illegal drugs, overcrowding and a lack of ventilation within the venue in Costa Salguero, Buenos Aires Capital. According to initial reports, the only sources of free, purified water ran out halfway through the night. Bottled water was available behind the bar for AR $40, however investigators are looking into accounts on social media claiming that it was being sold for as much as AR $100. A witness had later described the venue as an “aluminum box.”
Delgado’s court order for Conci’s arrest comes as people begin to demand answers over the weekend’s tragedy. Immediately following the deaths, the coast guard, under whose jurisdiction Costa Salguero falls, stated that there were no drugs within the festival, something which has been proven untrue by both the autopsy results of the deceased and anyone who has ever been to an electronic music festival.
In response to the coast guards’ statement, another prosecutor, this time Sandro Abraldes, has said that he wants to “investigate” the coast guard for declaring that they couldn’t find any drugs when there clearly were. Delgado affirmed this view, saying that the venue’s security measures needed to be scrutinized, as well as the medical unit’s response, which was accused of not being able to cope.
This afternoon’s court order, however, would suggest that Delgado has already made up his mind as to who is to blame for Saturday’s tragedy. Making his decision, Delgado compared it to the tragedy in the Cromañon night club, when, in 2004, 194 people died after a flare thrown during a concert set the venue on fire. The former manager of the nightclub, Omar Chabán, was sentenced to eight years in prison, convicted of being criminally responsible for the blaze.
Meanwhile, after her cryptic tweet this morning, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich has come out with something that makes at least gramatical sense, saying that it is the government’s responsibility “to be stricter” when it comes to the consumption of synthetic drugs at festivals. Speaking to Radio Mitre, the minister said that the government needed to “work with parents” to alert young people to the dangers of synthetic drugs.
In terms of security measures, Bullrich said that security was the responsibility of the event since it was “a private party” but acknowledged that dogs could “not detect these sort of pills” since they “do not have an odor,” which is “why there needs to be a different form of control.”
The Security Minister confirmed that the government had already sent to the Senate a new law, which would “give stronger sanctions to the use of chemical bi-ingredients” in drug production.
Synthetic drugs are produced to mimic the effects of regular hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs but having a slightly altered chemical structure. These chemicals can cause huge damage to the human body, as tragically displayed this weekend in Costa Salguero.