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ARGENTINA | 25-06-2024 22:59

Milei dispatches security minister amid furore for missing child

Patricia Bullrich announces national government will lead the search and investigation for Loan Danilo Peña, the five-year-old boy who went missing 12 days ago in Corrientes Province.

President Javier Milei dispatched one of his top ministers to northern Argentina Tuesday as the federal authorities took over an investigation regarding a missing child that’s gripped the nation. 

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced the national government would lead the search and investigation for Loan Danilo Peña, a five-year-old boy who went missing 12 days ago in the province of Corrientes, about 450 miles north of Buenos Aires City.

Bullrich acknowledged human trafficking and kidnapping are being investigated as possible causes for the boy’s disappearance. 

Six people have been arrested in connection with the case, according to local media.  

“Loan’s case concerns all Argentines and hopefully it has a happy ending, but it needs to clear up,” Bullrich told reporters Tuesday in the small town of Goya on the Paraná river. “These are going to be difficult days because the investigation will be confidential, including hard sanctions to anyone who spreads information that can put the investigation in danger and above all, Loan’s life.” 

Milei, who pledged during his campaign to step up the fight against organised crime, hasn’t commented on the case yet.

Loan’s disappearance has captured Argentines’ attention with wall-to-wall media coverage, endless speculation about potential hypotheses and brought a sobering debate to the surface about human-trafficking in the region. 

Corrientes is in the poorest region of Argentina where over 48 percent of the population lives in poverty, according to government data. Known for the Ibera National Park, Corrientes shares parts of its borders with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.  

by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

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