Last week’s shooting incident at the home of the governor of Santa Fe province was retaliation for a recent crackdown on drug trafficking, Argentine Defense Minister Agustin Rossi said Monday.
No one was hurt last Friday when hooded assailants on a motorcycle fired shots outside the home of Gov. Antonio Bonfatti in Santa Fe city, the provincial capital, as the politician and his family sheltered inside.
Police arrested four people on Sunday in connection with the attack, but only one of them remains in custody.
The past few months have witnessed “much more energetic, much more decisive action by the provincial government in relation to the crime of drug trafficking,” Rossi told radio stations.
Bonfatti called the assault at his residence “a reaction” to the dismantling of some drug outfits that operated in the province, especially in Rosario, Santa Fe’s largest city and Argentina’s third-biggest overall.
The defense minister cited last year’s arrest of Santa Fe then-provincial police chief on suspicion of drug links as a turning point.
While prosecutors did not have enough evidence to indict Hugo Tognoli, the investigation that led to his arrest and subsequent resignation uncovered evidence of wrongdoing on the part of other members of the provincial force, Rossi said.
Turf battles among rival drug gangs resulted in at least 116 homicides in Rosario in the first half of this year, according to a study by researchers at the city’s National University.