A surge in neonazi activity is being seen in Mar Del Plata and the surrounding area. The latest in the chain of concerning stories coming out of the popular resort town, occurred on Saturday afternoon when two young gay men were attacked by a group of men wearing clothing with visible nazi insignia on them. This comes after a leader of a group labeled by many as being “neo-nazi” was seen inciting a riot at the annual women’s conference or encuentro held in Mar del Plata earlier this month. This riot ended with police firing rubber bullets and pepper spray into crowds that included young mothers and infants.
The most recent attack followed a verbal altercation, where according to sources from within the municipality, a group of neonazi’s acosted a pair of young men after “realizing they were gay”. The victims attempted to escape the pack of aggressors on foot, but were quickly overtaken by the small mob. The self identified neo-nazis attacked the two victims with PVC piping that had been filled with cement. The victims, whose names have not been released, were hospitalized after sustaining multiple bone fractures and deep, reportedly serious lacerations. They are in stable but serious condition at the Interzonal de Agudos hospital.
This horrific scene comes after the same group was cited by the director of the Human Rights Department in General Pueyrredon, José Luis Zerillo, for defacing a mural dedicated the Madres of The Plaza de Mayo on one of the walls of the municipal library. Zerillo continues in saying:
“The situation is deteriorating, I think the current political context has made this group even more brazen. They keep thinking they can do this kind of thing”
Zerillo is set to present the case for investigation in front of a federal judge. This which appears to be all the more necessary as NGO leaders in the area working for equality are reporting receiving death threats from the group.
These acts need to be viewed in context. As easy as it is to write them off as isolated incidents or media clickbate, they represent a growing and disturbing trend where organized incidents of hate continue to affect the lives of real people in seemingly normal places throughout Argentina.
Nazi sympathizing is apparently only somewhat of a death sentence for those running for political office. Former presidential frontrunner Sergio Massa had to ask a mayoral candidate (Carmen Bretín Lindemann) running in coalition with his political party to pull from the race after it became public she supported the Third Reich and was proud to be the alleged daughter-in-law of infamous Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.
The mayor elect of the district or partido of General Pueyrredon (of which Mar del Plata is the capital) Carlos Arroyo has been accused of not only sympathizing with the Argentine dictatorship, but also was reported to have items bearing Nazi symbolism in his office. He also is on record as being anti-gay in addition to wanting to ban
all fun carnival parades often referred to as murgas. Mar del Plata is carving out quite the disturbing record for itself.