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Argentine police protest after giant pay error

05 october 2012, 14:53
Thousands of police took to the streets across Argentina on Wednesday after their pay was slashed by 30 to 60 percent in what the government said was an administrative error, AFP reports.

Marchers in the upscale Puerto Madero neighborhood in Buenos Aires waved pay stubs, chanting "Nobody touches our pay!"

Police protests also were reported in cities such as Cordoba, Rosario and Comodoro Rivadavia.

Government chief of staff Juan Manuel Abal Medina said the pay cuts were a mistake.

"The pay reduction was the result of a disastrous administrative action," he said, adding that most officers would receive their missing pay immediately.

The officers were from two forces, the Naval Prefecture police and the Gendarmerie, that once specialized in patrolling the river and borders.

More recently, both forces have been deployed to provide security in city streets and highways to make up for shortages in other police forces.

Protests continued even after the government announced that top coast guard and military police officials -- 20 in all -- would be forced into retirement, effective immediately.

Medina said the government "will investigate those responsible for this anomaly and those who want to generate chaos."

Spokesmen for the protesters however vowed to maintain their demonstrations until the government gives a written response to a 20-point list of complaints.

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