Seven people have been arrested in connection with Saturday’s incident in which protesters attacked the minibus carrying President Alberto Fernandez in Patagonia’s Lago Puelo, located in the province of Chubut, Argentina.
Fernandez had arrived on Saturday morning to lead an emergency committee to tackle the fires engulfing the area and to “alleviate the anguish” that has struck the local community.
Images appear to show demonstrators surrounding the president’s minibus, throwing objects and striking the vehicle in the southern province of Chubut.
As the vehicle leaves the scene, passing through the crowd there appears to be damage to the windows
No injuries were reported.
Following the incident in Chubut, Federico Massoni, the Minister of Security has confirmed that six raids have taken place in the area, with at least seven arrests.
He also said eight people have been identified – workers from both the private and public sectors.
Carlos Diaz Mayer, the Chubut prosecutor, said local authorities are continuing with investigations to determine exactly what has taken place and to identify those who have played a role in the incident.
“We are collecting all the images, filming, photos from different social networks and some television cameras,” he told Radio 10 on Monday.
“Everything is being investigated. Most of the aggressors could be identified. So far there are approximately 10 people. They all live in Lago Puelo, on the Chubut side,” Diaz Mayer added.
The president had been visiting an area where large forest fires have hit recently, with locals forced to evacuate homes and around 200 homes destroyed, impacting power and water supplies.
La Nacion has reported two deaths as a result of the fires in the area.
According to local reports, the protest was in response to anger against open-pit mining in the area known for vast resources of gold, silver, and uranium.
In Argentina, many indigenous communities and environmentalists oppose large-scale mining.
Local media have reported that an “anti-mining” group at odds with the governor of Chubut carried out the incident while the group itself has claimed “infiltrators” were allegedly involved.
After the incident, Fernandez took to Twitter, saying “violence is not shared by the Chubut people and by those who inhabit our beloved Argentina”.
The cause of the fire remains unclear although authorities suspect arson.
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