Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I'd like to give you some background or something, but I can find absolutely nothing else about this anywhere.

The following is from the Spanish news agency EFE.

Argentine farmers' protest leaves 32 injured

Buenos Aires, Mar 14 (EFE).- Thousands of farmers set fire to the city hall of San Vicente and attacked the police station in the northeastern Argentine town during protests that left at least 32 people, most of them police officers, injured.

Violence broke out Monday during a protest by some 3,000 people who have been demanding since last week that Mayor Luis Benitez resign, police said Tuesday.

The attack on city hall, which was reduced to rubble, could not be prevented by about 100 police officers in riot gear who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters but could not disperse them.

Protesters kept firefighters from putting out the blaze at city hall and then attacked the police station.

The demonstrations began a week ago, when 400 farmers gathered outside city hall to demand the distribution of funds provided by the federal government for growers affected by the drought in the region.

A few days ago, some residents began gathering signatures for a petition to hold a referendum to remove Benitez, who they accuse of having taken the relief funds for his own use, from office.

Although calm appears to have returned to the town of 50,000 on Tuesday, the tobacco and citrus farmers remain in the streets of San Vicente.

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