Buenos Aires Times

argentina Buenos Aires City

City outlaws 'trapitos' and window washers with misdemeanours law

In 2011, the PRO managed to negotiate changes to existing laws aimed at regulating the services, but then mayor Mauricio Macro vetoed the changes.

Friday 14 December, 2018
'Trapitos' are people who charge drivers a fee for looking after their vehicles in public parking areas.
'Trapitos' are people who charge drivers a fee for looking after their vehicles in public parking areas. Foto:Perfil-File

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More than 11 years after Mauricio Macri first came to power in Buenos Aires City, his PRO Party has finally come through on one of its early campaign promises: to outlaw "trapitos", the informal workers who charge drivers money to watch their vehicles in public spaces.

Informal window washing services will also be outlawed, legislators decided, in a 40 to 20 vote to modify the City's Misdemeanours Law.

"Who could oppose a vote that deals with the mafias?" ruling coalition lawmaker Daniel Presti pondered during the lengthy debate in the Legislature.

For Citizens United legislator Leandro Santoro, the measure "criminalises informal work in public spaces, which some people survive on". His bloc voted against the regulation.

Until now, the PRO had failed to gather the necessary votes to pass similar proposals. 

In 2011, the party managed to negotiate changes to existing laws aimed at regulating the services, but then mayor Mauricio Macro vetoed the changes.

Any person involved in car watching or window washing for a fee will now be in violation of the City's Misdemeanours Law. The changes include the risk of five to 15 days' jail and four times that for the "leaders or coordinators" of such activity.

-TIMES

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