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Eight Arrested After the Abortion Vote Remain in Custody

They were arrested shortly after 3 AM Thursday morning.

By | [email protected] | August 9, 2018 3:52pm

Protesters are soaked by water cannons, via ClarínProtesters are soaked by water cannons, via Clarín/Emmanuel Fernández

At least eight people were arrested by security forces in the early hours of the morning on August 9th after the Senate rejected a bill seeking to decriminalize abortion in Argentina at 2:45 AM, with 31 senators in favor and 38 against.

Minutes before the vote, a number of isolated outbursts broke out around Congress, escalating after the bill failed to pass. As a result, seven men and one woman were arrested on alleged charges of assault and resisting authority. In addition, one young woman was injured.

A number of people around the Congress had lit bonfires on Avenida Rivadavia to fight the cold, which had dipped to 6℃, or 42.8℉.  Strong winds and rain also battered those still waiting for the vote to be announced. A number of people used wooden pallets and cardboard to keep the fire going.

People warm themselves by improvised bonfires as they wait outside of Congress for the vote to be announced, via El País/Mar Centenera

Security forces intervened, extinguishing the flames with high-powered hoses and soaking many nearby. While most dispersed peacefully— although wet—a small number of protesters who had been hit by the hoses responded by throwing items, including bottles and stones, at the security fence and the raised shields of the surrounding police forces.

In response, security forces promptly threw tear gas into the crowd, which hit both the few who had reacted aggressively, as well as those who had been trying to peacefully leave the area. As a consequence, people began to flee in panic, and at least one woman was recorded as injured.

It was in those moments that police began to make arrests. Later in the night, another man was arrested for verbally and physically assaulting other protesters, as well as a photographer.

Protesters are soaked by water cannons, via Clarín/Emmanuel Fernández

As of this afternoon, the eight who were arrested remain in police custody. Seven of them, six men and one woman, were charged with property damage, assault, and resisting authority, including: Rodrigo Devito (24), Dylan Ferrero Martínez (18), Nicolás Gonzalo Gil (23), Fernando Luis Donaire (19), Armando Beder Reyes (29), Constanza Folonier (20), and Andrés Navarro (39).

Also arrested was Pablo Héctor Fernández (41), who was accused of assaulting a photographer who took photographs of him during the incidents. In his case, he was arrested for causing minor injuries to Marcelo Escayola.

Arrests were made a little after 3 in the morning, via Clarín/Maxi Failla

Arrests were made a little after 3 in the morning, via La Nación

All of the cases are under the charge of judge Andrea Scanga. It is unknown when the first release will occur, but it could be anytime in the next few hours.