Buenos Aires, Aug 27 (EFE).- A group of Argentines marched in support of Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Saturday, just days after a federal prosecutor recommended a 12-year prison sentence for her in an alleged corruption scam.
The protest took place outside the vice president’s house in Buenos Aires’ Recoleta neighborhood, where police constructed fences to prevent a large gathering.
The opposition-led city council’s decision to build a fence around the vice president’s home infuriated protesters.
The demonstrations turned into riots when protesters clashed with the police after pulling down the fences and moving toward the house of Fernandez, who ruled Argentina between 2007 and 2015.
Riot police charged at the protesters, using a hydrant truck to disperse the crowd, which responded with scuffles and attacks on police vehicles.
President Alberto Fernández repudiated the city government’s decision to fence the surroundings of the home of the vice president.
The president said the decision of the Buenos Aires government to deploy police and erect fences prevented free movement in the vicinity of the home of the vice president of the Nation.
The city government is headed by Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta from the opposition.
According to Alberto Fernández, the operation “far from contributing to the peace invoked a climate of insecurity and fear.”
“I express my strongest rejection of the institutional violence unleashed by the city government in the face of a massive demonstration of citizens expressing themselves freely and in democracy,” said the president.
The president pointed out that the city authorities and its security forces “must work to take care of citizens, avoiding creating hostility in the face of massive mobilizations.”
“Maintaining social peace and guaranteeing people’s exercise of free expression is their institutional responsibility,” said Alberto Fernández.
The city government claimed that it placed the fence to “guarantee public order, social peace and coexistence” among the neighbors after supporters of the former president held a vigil in the area.
Alberto Fernández said the harassment of the vice president must end.
Prosecutor Diego Luciani Monday claimed that while she ruled Argentina between 2007 and 2015, Fernández was the head of an illicit association made up of “high-ranking” public officials, for whom the prosecutor also requested various penalties.
In addition to requesting that she go to prison for 12 years, Luciani also recommended banning her from holding public office.
In a supporting statement for the vice president in the face of the “judicial persecution”, the government said that “none of the acts attributed to the former president have been proven.”
President Alberto Fernández expressed his “deepest affection and solidarity to the vice president.”
Other leaders of the pro-government front, such as Economy Minister Sergio Massa, also questioned the prosecutor’s allegations. EFE