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Argentina. The governor of Santa Fe province announces a tough fight against drug gangs and crime

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Half-naked prisoners with their hands tied behind their backs – such photos were shared on social media by the governor of the Argentine province of Santa Fe. The new Argentine authorities praised the politician, while human rights organizations talk about the “humiliation” of prisoners. In the public debate, there are comparisons to the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who deals with crime in his country in an often brutal way.

The governor of Argentina’s Santa Fe province, Maximiliano Pullaro, shared on Tuesday details of a recent police operation to search the Pinero prison complex, where several known drug traffickers are being held.

“Things will only get worse,” Pullaro wrote on social media, along with a photo of prisoners with bare chests and bowed heads, surrounded by guards in military gear. “We will not back down in the face of threats,” the governor assured.

Minister of Security Argentina Patricia Bullrich shared photos on the X platform on Wednesday and praised the governor’s actions. Earlier, she praised the approach of El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, who is tough on drug gangs and criminals.

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The governor of an Argentine province announces a tough fight against drug gangs and crimeProvince of Santa Fe/PAP/EPA

Santa Fe is home to the strategic port city of Rosario, which had one of the highest homicide rates in Argentina last year amid gang fighting over drug territory.

There have been numerous surprise prison inspections since the Conservative governor took office in December.

Governor of Santa Fe criticized for his actions towards prisoners

Argentinian organization human rights The Center for Legal and Social Studies criticized this move. “The humiliation in Santa Fe prisons does not make anyone safer,” she said.

Other critics said the photos resembled material typically released by Bukele in El Salvador, who has taken his own draconian measures to deal with crime that have led to allegations of human rights abuses, although they have also gained public praise.

Bukele sent his security minister to Buenos Aires for the inauguration of President Javier Milea, and recently presented his offer of “cooperation” with Argentina “in all aspects of security” on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Main photo source: Province of Santa Fe/PAP/EPA

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