One dead in looting after Argentine police shun work

Looters leave a supermarket in Cordoba, Argentina, on Dec 3, 2013. At least one person died when people robbed stores in the central Argentine province of Cordoba after police demanding pay raises refused to leave their barracks, a doctor said o
Looters leave a supermarket in Cordoba, Argentina, on Dec 3, 2013. At least one person died when people robbed stores in the central Argentine province of Cordoba after police demanding pay raises refused to leave their barracks, a doctor said on Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - At least one person died when people robbed stores in the central Argentine province of Cordoba after police demanding pay raises refused to leave their barracks, a doctor said on Wednesday.

Vandals and looters, some on motorcycles, ransacked stores as they took advantage of the lack of officers on patrol, local TV footage showed.

Some 3,000 police in Cordoba had refused to leave their police stations to go on patrol on Tuesday. Officers want higher salaries and better working conditions, said a lawyer for the police, Miguel Ortiz Pellegrini.

But the dispute turned deadly when a 20-year-old man was shot in the chest, said doctor Daniel Mercado, head of San Roque hospital in the central city of Cordoba, where the unrest happened overnight.

Cordoba province has 22,000 officers for a population of 3.5 million, the largest in Argentina after Buenos Aires province. Cordoba is a big farm producer and lure for tourists who come to enjoy its countryside.