Nine dead and 50 hospitalized for consuming adulterated cocaine in Buenos Aires

At least nine people died and more than fifty remain hospitalized in varying degrees after allegedly consuming adulterated cocaine in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, judicial sources reported Wednesday.

In statements to the TN news channel, the attorney general of the Buenos Aires department of San Martín, Marcelo Lapargo, stated that so far there are nine confirmed deaths, although "it might be twelve"as published by various local media. "It is a very serious fact for public health (…). We do not know today what it is adulterated with. This fact is absolutely exceptional, we have no precedent, which leads us to think that someone has included it (the other substance) intentionally. It is not an error in the processing of the material, or does not appear to be"Lapargo asserted.

The Buenos Aires Police deployed an operation at noon in the district of Tres de Febrero, northwest of the capital, to find those responsible for marketing this substance.

According to police sources quoted by local media, one of the intoxicated admitted that he had bought the drug in the vicinity of "gate 8"a slum located in Tres de Febrero and where security agents are working to remove it from circulation.

From that same place, the provincial security minister, Sergio Berni, assured that these deaths were due to a process of "stretched" of cocaine, which consists of adding other substances, such as starch, to extend its narcotic effects, although they do not rule out that it is another type of drug.

"It is possible that the analysis shows that it is not cocaine, but that it is talc with some anesthetic to generate that false sensation that one is drugged"Berni told the TN channel, adding that the experts are already analyzing the drug samples to clarify their composition. In this sense, the head of Buenos Aires Security warned that the deceased experienced cardiac and respiratory arrest. "extremely violent"so the substance in question would be a "central nervous system repressor".

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So far, the Police of the province of Buenos Aires have arrested nine people in "gate 8"all of them allegedly related to the sale of the drug. "It is very difficult at this hour (noon) to find a "dealer" (dealer) on the street. The dealer works until 1 or 2 in the morning at the latest. This is not a drug gang, these are salesmen"clarified the Minister of Security.

While the authorities advance in the identification of the substance and its confiscation, prosecutor Lapargo appealed not to consume it if one is in possession of it. "Our anguish today is to be able to communicate it in such a way that those who are in possession of this poison know that they do not have to consume it, to stop this wave of damage to health."he cried.

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