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Argentine federal judge Sebastian Casanello is challenging President Javier Milei’s sadistic refusal to distribute 5,000 tons of stored food to community food kitchens that feed the poor, unemployed and homeless. The Ministry of Human Capital was supposed to distribute the food to the community kitchens but stopped doing so once Milei took office last December, claiming that the social organizations that run the kitchens are rife with corruption, “irregularities” and extortion. Poverty and indigence have increased dramatically in the six months Milei has been in office, yet the food is stored in two large warehouses, one in Buenos Aires and one in the province of Tucuman, inaccessible to no one.

Today, acting on a legal suit brought by Juan Grabois, who runs a large social organization that coordinates some of the food kitchens, Judge Casanello ordered Human Capital Minister Sandra Pettovello to provide him with a report on the types of food that are in storage and their expiration dates, and present a plan for “immediate” distribution of the food within 72 hours, Página 12 reported. Casanello reminded officials of the Human Capital Ministry they are responsible for addressing “food security, poverty reduction and equal opportunity for the most vulnerable sectors.” He also demanded to see a record of food deliveries to and removals from the two warehouses.

Secretary of Children and the Family Pablo de la Torre, who works with Pettovello, offered the lame excuse that the food wasn’t distributed because it had to be stored “in case of emergencies.” Yet during three major weather and flooding emergencies—December of last year in Bahia Blanca (Buenos Aires), flooding in the province of Corrientes in March, and very recent flooding in the province of Buenos Aires—no government official offered to provide food from the warehouses to victims of these events. It should surprise no one that presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni announced this morning that the Human Capital Ministry, on Milei’s orders, intends to appeal Judge Casanello’s ruling.

On May 24, when Milei was told at an event that the wage gouging and high prices his policies have caused mean that many people can’t make it to the end of the month, he offered the disgusting reply, “If that were true, they’d all be dead.” Bishop Oscar Ojea, president of the Argentine Bishops Conference, responded sharply on May 26, posting on social media that he had just learned about the 5,000 tons of stored food. “I can’t understand why this [food] is stored,” El Diario reported him saying, “but I think that at a moment of food emergency, this should cause us to reflect … this food must be delivered rapidly. May these warehouses be opened rapidly so that our brothers with so many needs may enjoy a daily meal.”