Argentina football star Di María’s family threatened in Rosario amid security crisis

In 2023, Lionel Messi’s in-laws were also threatened by criminal groups in the city beset by escalating violence

Around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, a car drove by the gated community where the family of Argentine football superstar Ángel Di María lives, in the city of Funes just outside Rosario. Its occupants left a black package addressed to the “Di María family” containing a threat to the player and his relatives. The motives and origin are still unclear, with police “unable to discard any potential lines of investigation.”

The local district attorney’s office told the Herald that they could not confirm the contents of the package, which has been widely reported as an intimidating message and death threat. Police have investigated the area and footage from security cameras at the entrance, getting testimonies from workers within the gated community. The Funes city government then tracked the car until it left the metropolitan area.

After leaving the package “four gunshots could be heard as the car left at speed,” according to a statement released by the gated community chief of security, Gabriel López. Police did not confirm this.

The threat comes shortly after a string of murders in Rosario that targeted people with no apparent ties to organized crime or drug trafficking. In the space of one week earlier this month, two taxi drivers, a gas station employee, and a bus driver were murdered, apparently by hitmen. A note left next to the gas station worker’s body suggests the murders were meant to send a message from prisoners to the local government for the “humiliating” jail conditions.

You may also be interested in: Armed Forces deployed to Rosario to quell upsurge in violence

Parts of the city were left paralyzed as bus drivers and waste disposal workers went on strike. Defense Minister Luis Petri launched a military operation on March 19 to provide support to the security forces in the city.

Di María has long spoken of his desire to return to Rosario Central, the club where he got his First Division debut in 2005, at just 17 years old.

“It’s my dream to come back, I’ll always say it,” said Di María earlier in March. His parents and sisters live in the city. “Seeing what is happening in Rosario, it makes you worry about your family. But the hopes and dreams of coming back are always there.”

Di María isn’t Rosario’s only star to be targeted: in March 2023, a supermarket owned by Lionel Messi’s in-laws was shot at. The attackers left a message for the Inter Miami star: “Messi, we’re waiting for you. [Rosario Mayor Pablo] Javkin is a drug lord, he won’t save you.”


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald