Thousands of officers patrol Buenos Aires during G20

World Today

Thousands of officers patrol Buenos Aires during G20

G20 host city Buenos Aires has stepped up security with the help of tens of thousands of security officers.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

Parts of Buenos Aires are in lockdown for the G20 leaders summit. The most important global gathering this country has ever hosted represents a major challenge for the security forces.

Following protests at previous G20 summits, Argentina has left little to chance while hosting world leaders this week – with more than 22,000 security officers, in addition to personnel from other delegations.

“This is a situation we analyze minute by minute we have command control in the security ministry and other center in the four national forces that are working on this event,” said Patricia Bullrich, Argentine Security Minister.

Argentina’s security ministry has worked with security services from around the world and brought in special equipment, including from China.

Much of the Argentine capital is now cut off. Residents in areas near where official events are taking place also being searched.

To help with logistics amid an unprecedented security operation, the government called a public holiday for Friday and even suggested Buenos Aires residents should leave the city and enjoy the long weekend.

This suggestion did not go down well. A sinking economy means few have extra money for a weekend away. There have been protests about the economic situation, and security concerns have been raised ahead of a major football match.

Activists say Argentina and its President Mauricio Macri should not be spending what they say is well over $100 million on hosting the G20.

“We have a combination of very bad economic decisions plus militarization of society which is a bad combination which is what Macri is doing and they are using the G20 in order to do that,” said activist Luciana Ghiotto.

Protesters have planned a march for Friday afternoon. The security minister appealed for peaceful demonstration, but the hosts are not taking any chances.