During an interview with TN yesterday evening, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich discussed the recent looting attempts that have been taking place amid a deepening economic crisis and growing socio-economic vulnerability across Argentina, stating that “important politicians” were actively promoting such incidents through WhatsApp groups.
While Bullrich stopped short from mentioning anybody by name, the Security Minister blamed the Kirchner camp for alleged WhatsApp chats, stating that one always finds “some reference to Kirchnerism” at the root of such groups.
“When someone is part of the problem and not the solution, then we will keep them accountable. Today, we reported two WhatsApp groups where we suspect important politicians are up to something. We will make more information public as we know more,” Bullrich emphasized.
During the interview, Bullrich described how the alleged WhatsApp networks supposedly operated, stating that people receive calls or messages where “someone alerts them about ongoing looting,” which they then quickly join.
Bullrich stressed that alerts come from Kirchnerist politicians “who warn about looting” for political gain, using threats of looting as a bargaining chip to gain leverage against their political opponents.
“They warn that these organized attempts will happen in advance,” Bullrich stated, emphasizing that these instances were anything but spontaneous.
“They remind me of Moyano when he says: ‘I’m going to do a national strike in two months,’” Bullrich continued, referring to the Peronist labor leader. “Planning a national strike shouldn’t work like that. This works the same way: there is a WhatsApp group that says ‘looting this Saturday,’ as if a great dance were happening this Saturday. That is to say, there is willful premeditation.”
Bullrich added, “If an Argentine finds themselves in a complex situation, they have other options, they do not have to resort to looting, to WhatsApp, they don’t have to hide behind their political patrons or behind an attempt of destabilization, and they should know that we are going to act with authority, we are not going to let democracy or our institutions or the government be manipulated.”
Bullrich then said that, in “Argentina things have to have order and coexistence,” stating that the Kirchner camp had constructed social movements through their base of supporters to use as a “kind of permanent threat” to hold over the head of their political opponents in order to get their way, going so far as to claim that the Kirchner camp was “trying to generate a situation of guerrilla warfare” within the country.
“Let’s hope that the Kircher camp can get its people under control,” Bullrich added.
The Security Minister faced sharp criticisms across Argentina for her comments, including from the Vice Governor of the Province of Chaco, Daniel Capitanich.
Capitanich stated that in his province— Argentina’s poorest— “there was a series of looting attempts in different neighborhoods, there were 16 men and three women arrested, five of who were minors.”
Capitanich cited growing economic precariousness and social unrest as the cause of the looting, stating that politicians “have to be more responsible” regarding these incidents.
“The Minister has no proof or plausible argument to reach this conclusion that the Kirchner camp is behind the looting. The situation in the country warrants that the government work to understand the current state of the country, not through social media posts but through hands-on experience,” Capitanich added.