Hospitals in Buenos Aires 'on alert' for football violence

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In the wake of two deaths related to football violence, a new fight amongt the highly orgaanised Boca Juniors barra brava 'El Doce' has broken out, resulting in the non-fatal stabbing of a 44 year old barra member.

Late last year El Doce leader 'Rafa' Di Zeo, who I once had the dubious honour to meet, was imprisoned for the Argentinan equivalent of GBH and posessing a firearm.

Many believed that this would lead to a violent power vacuum in El Doce, just as is currently happening on the violent terraces of River Plate's stadium. Nothing transpired, many beileving that Rafa was controlling the organisation, which re-sells tickets, drugs and parking spaces, among other activities, for vast amount of money.

On Sunday, a day after the deaths of two young people, violence broke out between rival factions of El Doce. One group of El Doce, known as Los de Lomas, and led by Mauro Martin, are thought to be the agitators. Winners of these fights will control what is basically an effective organised crime unit.

Before Boca Juniors' 0-0 draw against Huracán, fights broke out around La Bombonera, knives and an air rifle were used in the fight. 179 people and nine people under 18 were arrested and taken in a convoy, watched by hundreds of police and a helicopter to a nearby police station. The scuffle even reached the doors of the hospital where a fan was interned.

SAME, the Argentinan health care service have issued an alert to hospitals in Buenos Aires, for the possibility of heightened violence  for forthcoming games.