Santa Fe Security minister fired as narcos fuel surge in violence 

Former policeman Rubén Rimoldi will be replaced by former gendarme Claudio Brilloni

Santa Fe Security Minister Rubén Rimoldi was removed from office last night by provincial governor Omar Perotti. He was replaced by Claudio Brilloni, a former gendarme who worked in Rosario provincial security while Patricia Bullrich was security minister. 

The dismissal came after a wave of violent crime in Rosario, a city that counted almost 300 homicides in 2022 and had 33 so far this year. On Wednesday, bullets were fired at the offices of Santa Teresita Public Health Center in the city, sparking rage from mayor Pablo Javkin, who responded by attacking Rimoldi’s work. “How is it possible? Our city’s been under threat for a week now, this has to end,” he said. 

Rimoldi replied to his claims at a press conference, where he interpreted the rise of violence as a response to the police’s “hard work”. He added that his administration was working to “pacify” the city – and succeeding. However, later that day, he was removed from office, only six months into his administration. 

Perotti said of the changes that Rimoldi was not living up to expectations. “There were some situations that made changes necessary, and we hope Brilloni will be successful at this new stage,” he added. 

In a radio show early on Thursday, Brilloni said that Santa Fe is a strategic spot for drug trafficking, and working against the violence means carrying out a plan “not only in Rosario, Santa Fe, or San Lorenzo cities, but for the whole province so that it ceases to be a trading and consuming spot.” 

The new Security Minister ordered the removal of provincial police chief Miguel Oliva, and appointed the deputy chief, Martín García. “He knows the territory, his troupe respects him,” he said. “We need to support, assist and reinforce him,” he added. 

Patricia Bullrich praised his appointment: “commander, you’re fit to do this,” she tweeted. 

Violence in Rosario

Rosario, one of the main cities in the province, has faced growing violence in recent years. The city is the main exit channel for Argentine exports and has become an important port on drug trafficking routes. Gangs have spread throughout the city, leading to a rise in crime and killings. 

One case shook its citizens recently: the murder of Lorenzo “Jimi” Altamirano, a 28-year-old musician who was shot dead at the entrance of the Newell’s Old Boy’s football stadium on February 1. Jimi reportedly had no ties to any gangs in the city, nor to Newell’s football team’s hooligans, who are believed to be involved in the case. 

His murder sparks worries due to the fact that the victim was randomly picked, which could indicate that violence is being scaled up Santa Fe. 

Earlier today, Omar Perotti made statements about the situation of the province regarding security and violence. There, he claimed that Santa Fe is not getting enough support from the national government, addressing Security Minister Aníbal Fernández in particular. “Their help is not enough, and a provincial administration can’t face organized crime and drug trafficking by itself,” he said. “Aníbal Fernández fails to understand the reality of Rosario – if this is all the help he can provide us with, then it’s not enough.”


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