Gunmen left a threatening message on Thursday for Lionel Messi and opened fire at a supermarket owned by his in-laws in his hometown of Rosario, police said.
Nobody was injured in the early morning attack, and it was unclear why assailants would target the Argentina star or the supermarket, which is owned by the family of his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo.
Police said two men on a motorcycle fired at least a dozen shots into the supermarket in the early hours, and left a message on a piece of cardboard that read, “Messi, we’re waiting for you. [Rosario mayor Pablo] Javkin is also a drug trafficker, so he won’t take care of you.”
Messi, who captained Argentina to victory at last year’s World Cup, has not commented on the incident. Messi plays for Paris Saint-Germain and spends much of his time overseas, though he often visits Rosario where he has a home in the suburb of Funes.
In Rosario, prosecutor Federico Rébola said authorities were reviewing security camera footage and that the investigation was “preliminary.” It was the first time Messi’s in-laws had received this kind of threat, he added.
Celia Arena, justice minister for Santa Fe province, where Rosario is located, said the attack amounted to “terrorism” by a “mafia” group meant to intimidate the broader population.
Meanwhile, Javkin attacked federal authorities over what he called their failure to curb a surge in drug-related violence in Rosario, which is located about 190 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
Javkin, a center-left politician in opposition to the ruling Peronist coalition, appeared to throw suspicion of complicity for the attack on criminal gangs and federal security officials.
“I doubt everyone, even those who are supposed to protect us,” Javkin said in an interview with a local radio station.
He said the supermarket was in a section of Rosario that has seen frequent crimes, and that he has raised the issue in recent meetings with federal and provincial law enforcement officials, but no action has been taken.
“Where are the ones who need to take care of us?” Javkin said. “It’s clear that those who have the weapons and have the possibility of investigating the criminals aren’t doing it, and it’s very easy for any gang to carry out something like this.”
Source: The Guardian