30/06/2017 Society

Argentine Doctor, 91, commits suicide at social security office

Rodolfo Estivil, a 91-year-old Argentine physician, committed suicide at a National Administration of Social Security, ANSES, office in Mar del Plata on Thursday, Clarin reported.

 

 
 

Video footage of the incident showed Estivil walking down the open staircase of the ANSES office, stopping halfway and shooting himself with a gun.

“I can not stand it anymore, I'm tired, this is my destiny, I can not go on living in this situation,” Estivil said before pulling out a pistol and firing, Clarin reported.

ANSES workers belonging to the trade union APOPS announced that they are holding a national strike on Friday in response to the incident. They are expected to pay tribute to the physician and demand better working conditions, with the motto "Assembly today. Strike tomorrow."

Estivil’s suicide sparked claims from opponents of President Mauricio Macri that he killed himself because of “a lack of responses to his (social security) claims,” as the group Block K told Clarin. Government officials, however, have refuted this allegation, with ANSES head Emilio Basavilvaso condemning on Twitter “any political use of such a personal and painful situation.”

Lawmakers from the Kirchnerist party Front for Victory responded that Basavilvaso 's response was "pathetic" and "highly cynical," considering that the retiree committed suicide in the government-run facility.

“This is not a political stunt, this is the result of neoliberal policies,” stated the lawmakers.

“The suicide of a 90-year-old man in the headquarters of the ANSES unveils the unbearable situation that retirees endure,” said Argentine union leader Nestor Pitrola from the Workers' Party, arguing that the pensions they received cover less than half of basic goods.

He criticized lawmakers for blocking any bills approving emergency social measures, which the retirees could also benefit from.

This is the second time a similar type of incident has been reported at ANSES. In 1996, when social security was privatized, an elderly man killed the head of a delegation.

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