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Argentina: Leftist Protest Leader Claims to Have Inspired Nationwide Looting Spree


The leader of the Argentine Independent Movement for the Retired and Unemployed (MIJD), a leftist protest organization, took responsibility on Tuesday evening for an ongoing wave of looting of supermarkets and stores that began over the weekend.


The violence erupted across several provinces of the country shortly after Argentina held its Open Primary election, in which Argentine libertarian economist and lawmaker Javier Milei was the most voted candidate. 


In addition to widespread looting, some supermarkets have also been set on fire.



 Although there are almost 56 reported arrests for attempted looting in the Buenos Aires province alone as of Tuesday, the spokeswoman for Argentina’s current leftist presidency, Gabriela Cerruti, publicly denied the existence of any looting on Tuesday through her social media accounts.


Cerruti accused Milei, his La Libertad Avanza (“Liberty Advances”) coalition, and Milei’s sympathizers of spreading “fake” videos and photos through social media.


“It is an operation organized by Javier Milei’s people whose objective is to generate destabilization and whose objective is to generate uncertainty because they are profoundly undemocratic,” Cerutti said in a video posted on the Chinese social media platform TikTok.


In defiance of the establishment left’s denials of any crime, in a telephone interview with Argentina’s CrónicaTV, MIJD chief Raúl Castells claimed on late Tuesday evening that members of his group are “the ones who are calling” for the looting of stores. Castells also asserted that, according to him, looting is not a crime, and accused everyone who defines looting as a crime as “liars.”


“Nobody is stealing anything. In Mendoza, Neuquén, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Corrientes, Chaco, Capital Federal and now in Escobar, Moreno, José Clemente Paz, Merlo, San Martín, Mal del Plata, etcetera, people are going out to look for food and, if they cannot find food, we, who are the ones who are calling for this,” Castells continued. “We tell them that, without stealing money and without breaking anything, to take what they can even if it is to exchange it for food.”




MIJD is a piquetero (“picketer”) group, leftist organizations that mainly dedicate themselves to protesting and sometimes engage in acts of violence. Some Argentine “picketer” organizations, such as the Evita Movement and the Marxist Barrios de Pie organization, have their own political parties and presently form part of the Argentine federal government through their presence in public ministries. Milei has promised to eliminate a plurality of government ministries, including those tied to militant groups, if elected president.


During the interview, Castells argued that the “real crime” is the high cost of food in Argentina, a nation that, under the disastrous leftist presidency of Alberto Fernández, has seen annual inflation rates surpass 122 percent. Under Fernández, the Argentine peso has lost nearly all its value.


Castells reiterated that MIJD had been inciting the looting when the interviewers asked him to clarify. Castells reasoned that the looting is the result of the Argentine government having stopped giving food to school and community canteens three months ago.


“We warned them, the officials, over and over again,” Castells said. “Don’t be fools, don’t throw the rope like that, deliver the food and this is solved in 24 hours,” Castell said.


“We do not accept that they say that the neighbors and housewives, the people of the neighborhoods and others that are coming out all over the country are thieves,” Castells continued. “It is an insult that they treat them as thieves instead of saying that the thieves are those in the government who stole the food they had to deliver and the thieves are the owners of the supermarkets who increased prices. Why don’t they say something about [the price of] a kilo of [chicken breast filet] at 4200 [pesos, roughly $12]?”


“When hunger is the law, rebellion is justice,” Castells concluded.


The MIJD leader also announced that a “demonstration” will be held on Thursday that will be attended by “thousands of people who want food.”


In a different interview held on Wednesday morning, Castells claimed to the Mendoza province’s local Canal 7 that “the looting has not been from the poor to the rich, but it is the rich who have looted the poor.”

Police officers guard a Diarco supermarket (back) under falling snow after an attempted looting, in Bariloche, Rio Negro Province, Argentina, on August 23, 2023. ( TOMAS CUESTA/AFP via Getty Images)


“Does it seem to you that we have to do this because there is no food, because there is no money to support ourselves? This is a robbery what they are doing to us,” he added.


Castells told Canal 7 that MIJD warned the government of far-left President Alberto Fernández by telling them that if Fernández’s government does not deliver food, then they “are going to go get food somewhere else.”


Castells, in a third interview held with Argentine news channel Todo Noticias on Wednesday morning, once again claimed to be “politically responsible” for the wave of looting, but refused to give details on how his organization was able to incentivize the looting because he “does not want to involve anyone in all this.”


The leftist picketer leader justified the looting as the result of the devaluation of the Argentine currency that the Argentine government issued on August 14, one day after the open primary election process.


Argentine Security Minister Aníbal Fernández announced on Wednesday that the government would form a joint security command to fight looting. The official did not mention Castells despite his repeated admission of involvement in incentivizing the looting throughout several Argentine television channels. Instead, Fernández claimed that the government had detected “criminal acts through WhatsApp groups” and that an unnamed individual had been incentivizing the looting since last week.


Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


Source:  Breitbart

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