Monday, October 21, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 15-07-2019 16:11

City of Neuquén without public transit after attack on taxi driver

Workers throughout province block bridges, roads and airport access

The city of Neuquén remains without transport by bus, train and taxi today, aggravating a strike with improvised roadblocks led by taxi drivers since Saturday due to an assault on a taxi driver who was beaten and remains in critical condition. 

Drivers in the city of Cipolletti joined the protest, stopping the circulation of Autobuses Neuquén. The Valle Train also did not function after a roadblock en the railroad bridge of Route 151. 

The bridge of Route 22 remained blocked this morning, along with the railroad that runs from Centenario to Route 7 in the Neuquén Industrial Park. Vehicles also could not enter the airport, according to the newspaper Río Negro

Last Saturday taxi driver Pablo Sánchez, 41, was beaten on the back by two individuals that posing as passengers in the base zone of the province’s capital. 

Around 3 a.m., Sanchez had picked up two youths in the stop situated between Olascoaga Avenue and San Martín. When he arrived at the corner of La Pampa and Guiñazú, they assaulted him and shot him in the back through the driver’s seat. 

After the attack and once the assailants escaped, the driver used his cellphone to call for help from his boss, who took him to Castro Rendón Hospital where he remains in critical condition with damage to his bone marrow and kidneys. 

Upon learning of the assault, taxi drivers in Neuquén’s capital initiated a strike in the name of security, cutting off essential intersections in the city, such as the road bridge, Route 7 and access to the airport. 

Sánchez’s family held a meeting with the prosecutor in the city’s justice building to receive information about the cause of the attack and if any footage existed. 

In remarks prepared for the press by Rubén Sánchez, the beaten driver’s brother, he said it remained likely that Pablo would “remain paralysed, because the shot punctured a vertebrae.” 

“He is stable, sedated, but runs the risk of infection,” Sanchez announced. “We await updates from the police. I estimate that they are going to begin to act.” 

– NA

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