A gun battle between police and armed men broke up the funeral of Argentina's most prominent Marxist labour leader, Senor Agustin Tosco, in the central industrial city of Cordoba on Friday (7 November).
GV Funeral procession with banner.
LV Helicopter overhead.
GV Procession and leaflets scattering (2 shots)
GV & SV Funeral cars and crowd with wreaths (2 shots).
GV Crowd following.
LV San Geronimo cemetery.
V Cortege outside church.
SV Crowd holds banners.
SV People hide when shooting starts.
SV People running for cover (2 shots)
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Background: A gun battle between police and armed men broke up the funeral of Argentina's most prominent Marxist labour leader, Senor Agustin Tosco, in the central industrial city of Cordoba on Friday (7 November).
The 45-year-old Senor Tosco died on Thursday of a heart attack. The head of the giant Light and Power Workers Union, he had spent most of the past two years in hiding in the city, sheltered by union members.
Senor Tosco came into conflict with the Argentine authorities in May 1969 when he led an uprising of workers and students in Cordoba which precipitated the downfall of the military regime headed by General Juan Carlos Ongania. He served a total of three years in prison for his activities before being granted an amnesty when General Juan Peron returned to power in May 1973.
The labour leader was forced underground again five months later when the Peronist authorities undertook a purge of what it called subversive elements. Senor Tosco spent the rest of his life in hiding. Doctors have said that his death was hastened by their inability to have him treated with modern equipment in Cordoba's most sophisticated hospital.
More than 8,000 attended Senor Tosco's funeral in the quiet cemetery of San Geronimo. As the ceremony neared its close, the mourners were forced to run for cover as shooting began between police and armed men. Members of the proscribed Marxist People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) were believed to be among the crowd.
The dramatic incident occurred at a time when Argentina's political future remains clouded. President Estela Maria Peron--presently in hospital with what medical communiques have termed gall-bladder trouble--is desperately trying to stem the growing wave of demands for her resignation...and to counter allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds.