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In the early hours of Sunday 2nd, officers of the Rosario Police attacked four young Qom community members who were walking down the street. Neighbors came to their defense and they were all attacked while the officers made reference to their status of indigenous people. Several police officers violently broke into two houses without a warrant, beat the people there and shot in the air. They arrested 14 people; and two young people had to be taken to the hospital. The community is denouncing that this is not an isolated event.
Real World Radio interviewed Ruperta Pérez, leader of the Qom community.
Approximately 50 police officers participated and the reasons behind the arrests were never explained. Pérez made reference to the humiliation they suffered and the degrading insults they received from the police officers amid a complete “lack of control”. They still don´t know what happened to those arrested in the way to the police station, which took a lot longer than it should have; they only know that they were brutally beaten –a girl had her rib broken- and other types of assault are suspected.
Pérez linked these actions with the way the Police works, not only against native communities. “They are linking us with other things that have nothing to do with us”, said Pérez, and stated that the Police is trying to link them with guns, which none of them have.
As a Qom leader, Pérez will resort to legal tools to reject these events and will try to have a dialogue with the Ministry of Security so that this does not happen again.
The people arrested, 12 men and 2 women, were released Sunday morning. According to Argentinian newspaper Página 12, prosecutor Gustavo Ponce Ashad filed a complaint against the police doctor, who did not record the beatings and wounds suffered by the people arrested.
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