Following the deaths of five young people aged between 20 and 24 early on Saturday morning at the Time Warp music festival in Costa Salguero, Buenos Aires Capital, blame for the tragedy has been bandied about, falling on the event organizers and, alternatively, the coast guard, for failing to stop drug dealings inside the venue.
Speaking to channel Todo Noticias (TN) this morning, Buenos Aires City Deputy Mayor Diego Santilli stated that relevant checks were carried out by the coast guard (since Costa Salguero falls under the coast guard’s jurisdiction, that body was in charge of security during the concert) both before and during the festival and instead said he believed that responsibility lay with “the organizers.”
“We applied controls both before and during the festival,” said Santilli. “The place was evaluated and authorized the same day as the festival: at 3 AM another check was made. Obviously there is always more that could have been done, but the initial checks were completed by all organizations.”
Santilli continued by saying that, “the organization is responsible for what happens inside the [festival’s] doors.” According to reports, “some people are saying that at the entrance, drugs were being confiscated from peoples’ socks and private parts, however, others were saying that four or five meters inside, drugs were being sold.”
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Sandro Abraldes said he wanted to “investigate” the coast guard for having stated that they couldn’t find any drugs when there clearly were.
Following the initial autopsy results, it has been confirmed that two of the five deceased died from “cardiac arrest.” It is thought that they had ingested what was sold as an ecstasy-based pill called “Superman,” however, this will be confirmed in the next few days, following further toxicology reports. Five more remain in a critical condition in hospitals across the capital.
Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta took to Facebook to share his condolences:
This morning, Alberto Crescenti, the head of Buenos Aires System of Medical Emergencies (SAME) confirmed in a statement that four of the hospitalized patients’ “lives are still at risk.” He explained that “they are receiving respiratory support” but that the “major worry” among the medical teams is that their liver systems have been seriously damaged by the ingestion of the synthetic drug.
The three young people in Hospital Fernández, Palermo and another in Argerich in La Boca are all still unconscious. The fifth patient, aged 17 years old, who is in Rivadavia Hospital, Recoleta, is apparently “conscious” and “responding well.”
“The matter over drugs is evolving very fast, a small laboratory generates this kind of synthetic drug, which killed the young victims,” said Santilli. “Our duty is to fight against drugs and make sure that people understand that drugs kill.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich gave her opinion about the issue of synthetic drugs with the following cryptic tweet:
— Patricia Bullrich (@PatoBullrich) April 17, 2016
“Everything should be considered a drug even if the ingredients themselves aren’t drugs.”
Time Warp was launched in Germany in 1994 and was in Buenos Aires for the third year in a row. Following Friday night’s tragedy, the second day of the festival was cancelled by the organizers.