Monday, June 1, 2020
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ARGENTINA | 28-03-2020 08:31

More than 140,000 apprehended for violating quarantine

Argentina’s mandatory quarantine period is set to extend until Easter Sunday (April 12) and could stretch into May.

With the national security forces controlling the compulsory social isolation, there were delays entering the Capital on the first day of new traffic restrictions, with exclusive lanes for key-workers and healthcare professionals.

Argentina’s mandatory quarantine period is set to extend until Easter Sunday (April 12) and could stretch into May.

The numbers of people caught not complying with the compulsory social isolation by the security forces grew exponentially in the second half of the week.

Whereas by 3pm on Wednesday some 42,000 people had been apprehended with 962 arrests, these numbers had grown to almost 139,000 apprehended and 4,828 arrested by Thursday. Over 167,000 vehicles were also checked with 819 impounded. On Friday, officials said that the Federal and City police forces had apprehended more than 200,000 people, with 6,341 individuals arrested.

The data come from the various federal forces and would grow even more if those from their provincial counterparts are added.

The difference between “detained” and “apprehended” is defined by the prosecutor or judge once the security forces hand those in question over to the Judiciary. It is precisely the courts who must resolve whether a person is “apprehended” (i.e. “notified” and obliged to return home comply there with the quarantine) or “detained,” which must occur in the place of apprehension, giving rise to legal action.

The controls of the security forces have been toughening as the days go by. While on March 20, the day when the emergency decree of President Alberto Fernández first came into effect, it was more a case of informing and raising awareness since many people were still unaware of the scope, as from the next day the controls grew tighter, resulting in more people being detained and apprehended with vehicles compounded.

“People must understand that this is not a recommendation, like washing your hands, but a decree which must be heeded,” the sources consulted assured Perfil, adding that March 20 was “a turning-point because the decree only became known on Thursday night and there was still confusion but that’s behind us now.”

President Fernández warned quarantine violators he wold act: “We’re going to take their cars away, they’re unscrupulous.”

“We’re authorised to intervene with all the national forces and make the quarantine stick,” explained Security Minister de Seguridad Sabina Frederic back then, pointing out that the controls would be increased and adding: “We’re going to be more inflexible, as President Alberto Fernández has requested.”

And so it has been in the ensuing days, especially immediately after the long weekend when the controls at the entry points into the City of Buenos Aires were tightened.

Cecilia Devanna

Cecilia Devanna

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