Rocks hurled at rally to protest death of ex-FARC guerrilla in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Aug 11 (EFE).- Rocks and other objects were hurled here Friday by leftist demonstrators protesting the death the day before of an Argentine photojournalist and former member of Colombia’s demobilized FARC guerrilla group.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered around the Obelisk monument in downtown Buenos Aires, the same part of the capital where Facundo Molares Schoenfeld, a former member of the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, died of cardiac arrest on Thursday while being subdued by police during a rally.

Leftist political organizations, grassroots groups and unions denounced Molares’ death and organized a demonstration on Friday to protest police brutality and demand justice.

That gathering ended with a group of demonstrators throwing rocks and other objects at a police station near the Obelisk.

The 47-year-old Molares was a member of an Argentine leftist organization known as the Popular Rebellion movement.

At the time of his death, he and other demonstrators were holding a rally to urge Argentines to abstain from the upcoming Aug. 13 primary elections.

Efforts were made to resuscitate Molares at the scene and he was later transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In a statement Friday, London-based human rights group Amnesty International called on the Argentine and Buenos Aires security ministers, Anibal Fernandez and Eugenio Burzaco, respectively, to clarify the circumstances surrounding Molares’ death, as well as other incidents of police aggression against demonstrators at the election protest.

Molares was participating in a small rally that was not blocking traffic, according to AI, which said that “nevertheless, police officers advanced violently even as the demonstrators were already retreating.”

“After being pinned to the ground by police, Molares Schoenfeld began suffering heart failure. Witnesses shouted to alert” the officers, but the man passed away at Buenos Aires’ Ramos Mejia Hospital, the human rights organization said in a statement.

Molares was taking part in a demonstration against the “electoral farce” in Argentina and in favor of “people’s democracy,” the groups that organized Thursday’s demonstration said in a statement.

Sunday’s primaries will determine which candidates will square off in the first round of presidential balloting on Oct. 22. EFE


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