At least nine people have died in a wave of looting and violence that swept through Argentina after police in much of the country went on strike for higher pay, the Christian Science Monitor reported
Hundreds more have been reported injured, with banks, public transportation and supermarkets closed in numerous cities, and stores shutting their doors to Christmas shoppers.
The dead include a storeowner whose business was set afire by rioters and a provincial deputy police superintendent fatally shot in a supermarket by looters, according to National Public Radio
The chaos began last week in Cordoba, the nation’s second-largest city, where police staged a sit-in and rioters ransacked scores of businesses, leaving two people dead and over 100 injured.
Many shop owners in the city of 1.3 million set up barricades and carried shotguns to prevent looters from targeting their stores.
The situation returned to normal in Cordoba after police officers saw their salaries doubled.
But the police strikes have spread throughout much of the country in recent days, and looting has been reported in 19 of Argentina’s 23 provinces.
In some provinces, officers have been fired for going on strike. But others appear to have followed Cordoba’s lead by yielding to demands for higher pay.
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