Group attacks with bombs the headquarters of Argentine newspaper Clarín, in Buenos Aires

A group of nine hooded people launched a series of bombs against the headquarters of the Argentine newspaper Clarín this Monday night (22), in Buenos Aires.

The attack was filmed by security cameras, which captured the moment when the group arrived on foot, at 11:05 pm, and launched at least seven Molotov cocktails – a type of homemade bomb in which a flammable liquid is placed inside a glass bottle – against the building of one of the country’s main vehicles.

The images released by Clarín show the moment when the criminals reach the street where the newspaper’s headquarters are located, near Parque Lezama, in the Barracas neighborhood. First, one of the people hurls a bomb towards the building. Soon after, two buses arrive on the street and the group waits for a few seconds; when the vehicles pass, another attack is made to the place – which was closed at the time.

The artifacts damaged the building’s facade and sparked a fire at the entrance, but left no injuries. The fire department arrived minutes later, but did not need to intervene as the outbreaks extinguished on their own.

Photo: Reproduction

The motives for the crime are not yet known. According to the newspaper, investigators were able to identify fingerprints on one of the bottles that did not explode and the object will be inspected by the Argentine Federal Police.

Although the images provided by Clarín show the exact moment of the attack, the investigators, also according to the newspaper, point out that it is difficult to identify the criminals through them and, therefore, are looking for camera recordings from the city hall. The case is being investigated by the anti-terrorism unit.

Also according to the publication, at least nine people would be involved in the episode, and one of them would be foreign.

In a statement, Grupo Clarín, the country’s largest media conglomerate -in addition to editing the homonymous newspaper, the company also owns the sports car Olé and the TV channels Trece and Todo Noticias-, condemned the attack, which it called a “violent expression of intolerance”, and asked for urgent clarification and punishment.

The attack was also repudiated by politicians and entities across the country. The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, wrote on a social network: “Violence always disturbs democratic coexistence. we hope that the facts are clarified and the authors identified”.

His predecessor, Mauricio Macri, stated that the attack “is a very serious attempt to frighten the vehicle and the entire press”. “An unacceptable fact that recalls the violent practices of the past. I repudiate the aggression and send my solidarity. That the government and the Justice clarify what happened and detain those responsible”, he said.

The current Minister of Security, Aníbal Fernández, said he is confident “that the perpetrators will be identified and punished.” Other ministers in the current government also criticized the attack.

Adepa (Association of Journalistic Entities of Argentina) stated that it “strongly condemns the fact, which is a violent expression of intolerance against a group of media and constitutes a serious attack on freedom of expression”.

Other professional associations demonstrated, such as the Argentine Journalists Forum (Fopea), the National Academy of Journalism, the Argentine Association of Cable Television (ATVC) and the Buenos Aires Press Union (Sipreba).

In a statement, the Inter-American Press Society (SIP) repudiated the attack and called for swift investigations.

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