The city of Concordia in Entre Ríos Province erupted into scandal this weekend after images emerged of at least two municipal officials attending a birthday celebration were leaked to the press.
The footage arrives at a time when national government officials are debating whether some regions should return to strict isolation measures due to an acceleration in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases being reported each day.
The party took place last Saturday, June 13. A host of municipal officials are rumoured to have been in attendance. The identities of at least two – the director of the Concordia Convention Centre, María Paz Bonelli, and head of Logistics for the Department of Children, Adolescents and Family, Mercedes Pérez – have been confirmed.
Large events and gatherings are still prohibited in Concordia. However, a government decree issued on June 8 authorised meetings of at least 10 people or less on weekends and bank holidays.
Images and videos of the party circulated on social media over the weekend, which clearly showed participants not respecting social distance rules or wearing face masks, two prevention measures that provincial governments nationwide have sought to implement strictly.
Concordia's Mayor Alfredo Francolini this week requested the “immediate” resignation of the municipal officials who attended the celebration through a letter published on his Facebook profile.
“This Sunday, it was confirmed that two municipal officials failed to comply with prevention regulations regarding the holding of social gatherings and participated in a birthday celebration with a group of people. The measures we implement are intended to protect the health of the entire community. If we tell the public to take extreme precautions, our officials must set an example of responsibility and commitment,” he wrote.
Francolini also confirmed that criminal action may be brought against those who attended the celebration.
“The effort we need to make to come out in front of this belongs to everyone. Just as no-one is immune from Covid-19, no-one is exempt from the rules that we have established in order to fight this disease. We will be uncompromising in our commitment to these rules,” he said.