The latest on justice for Mariano Ferreyra: A struggle that continues
(English and Spanish versions)
A struggle that continues
Prensa Obrera 1266 05/02/13 | Partido Obrero (Workers Party) | May 2, 2013
The struggle for justice for Mariano Ferreyra continues on many fronts and in
various different forms. In a few weeks, the trial of the Railway Union "expert"
who tried to destroy the evidence of the projectile that killed Mariano will
begin. The case of the attempted payment of bribes to Court of Cassation
(Superior Court) judges, in which an additional person has been charged, is also
moving forward. Finally, the much touted protected witness provided by the
government is under investigation for possibly having participated in the crime.
An "expert" on trial
Roberto Jorge Locles a retired Army captain, will be brought to trial in June
for having altered the bullet extracted from the body of Mariano Ferreyra.
Locles was expert witness for the defense of William Uño, a member of the gang
that attacked the outsourced workers on October 20. Locles, not even an expert,
has acted as a provocateur in several widely publicized cases. A long-standing
resolution of the Court, dating back to 1998, indicates that Locles was not
expert or qualified in this area. As a result he was excluded from the list of
experts in forensic ballistics, in which he possesses no evidence of specialized
training. The lawyer Gustavo Igounet, defense counsel for Uño, and linked to a
firm that used to defend repressors of the Air Force, could hardly have been
unaware of this in relation to Locles, who is quite a buffoon. In other words,
one should wonder whether Locles' role, when he was hired by the Railway Union,
was not precisely that: to destroy evidence. Locles has experience in this
regard: some fifty murderers belonging to the Buenos Aires Province police
force, accused in cases of trigger-happy caused deaths, managed to be cleared of
charges due to the "expertise" of this individual.
Now Locles is going to be put on trial because, according to the prosecutor's
brief "with the alleged purpose of explaining his theory (that the bullet had
bounced before wounding the victim), he repeatedly struck the projectile against
the surface of the work table in the lab", which caused the bullet to be
"slightly crushed in parts of the nose and body, more specifically where linear
and parallel deformations were to be found on the projectile."
Igounet, we should be reminded, received no fees from Uño, but rather from the
Railway Union, and kept them abreast of his efforts and legal strategies in
relation to the now convicted "Gallego" Fernández, one of the instigators of the
murder of Mariano.
Locles' obvious purpose was to deform the projectile, which had the direct
consequences of not only establishing the alleged rebound, but also allowing
that deformation to make it difficult to determine the direction of the shot,
because the side that was pounded was precisely the one bearing linear and
parallel marks indicating the direction in which the said weapon was aimed by
Locles' intention in carrying out this criminal act was to underpin the
ridiculous theory that Igounet tried to introduce: that the shot that killed
Mariano was not only the product of a rebound, but that our comrade had also
been the victim of "friendly fire".
The comrades of the Partido Obrero (Workers Party) who were wounded that October
20 are now plaintiffs in the case against Locles, for whom a sentence of four
years imprisonment, the maximum expected effective sentence for these cases,
will be sought, as well as his disqualification for the maximum period provided
by the Penal Code.
The case of attempted bribery of the Court of Cassation (Superior Court)
Susana Planas, childhood friend of Pedraza's wife, Graciela Coria, has just been
charged in the case of attempted bribery of the Court of Cassation with the aim
of achieving Pedraza's release during the trial for the murder of Mariano.
Planas was legal representative for Belgrano Cargo (Belgrano Cargas) and the
"cooperative" Mercosur Labor (Trabajo del Mercosur).
In that case, as we know, charges were brought against Pedraza; the former agent
of the Side (Secretaría de Inteligencia - Intelligence Secretariat), Juan
Riquelme; Angel Stafforini, accountant for the Railway Union and on the board of
Belgrano Cargo; former federal judge Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid, and Luis
Escobar, an employee of the Criminal Chamber.
Planas was charged for having accompanied Stafforini to deliver the $ 50,000 in
cash to Araoz de Lamadrid's office, with the intention of his then making
delivery of the bribes to Court of Cassation judges.
Judge William Rongo, in charge of the case, has not departed from Judge Alberto
Baños' decision, made when charges were brought against those first accused in
the case, in the sense that knowledge of the intentions of the accused cannot be
attributed to the judges who were to be bribed.
However, transcripts of recordings, placed as evidence in the case, make it
clear that Riquelme had repeated contacts with judge Eduardo Rafael Riggi and
also spoke of the matter with members of the Railway Union.
Recently, Gerardo "601" Martínez, Uocra (Construction workers union) capo and
leader of the CGT-Balcarce (Balcarce General Federation of Labor Unions), was
called to testify as a witness, because the transcripts established that
Riquelme promised to talk to him in order to obtain housing for Riggi's son.
So far there has been a desire to protect the judges involved in this issue. Of
these, the main suspicion falls upon said Riggi, who is still Vice President of
Division III of the Court of Cassation, since Riquelme, from home, spoke to
Pedraza to inform him that he had met with the judge.
A resolution which passed unnoticed
One of the resolutions in the decision of the Oral Criminal Court 21, which
ruled in the case of the murder of Mariano Ferreyra and attempted murder of Elsa
Rodriguez and other comrades, ordered that the witness Alejandro Benitez be
This Benitez is none other than the famous protected witness who was brought
into the case via the Mayor of Quilmes, Francisco "Barba" Gutierrez, in an
operation carried out under the personal supervision of [former Argentine
President] Néstor Kirchner. Afterwards, as we know, the President would
attribute all the merit of the investigation to the government, precisely
because it had contributed that witness.
Benitez was caught on camera in images taken by channel C5N when he arrived with
the gang he was part of to attack the outsourced workers that October 20, 2010.
He can be seen in the front row, running while smoking a cigarette, wearing a
backpack, and dressed in a blue and white striped sweatshirt.
A former boxer, Benitez worked in a Railway Union gym located at the
Constitution train station. The man benefited from a special work routine thanks
to the efforts made in his favor by Antonio Luna, former deputy secretary of
Benitez's testimony was one of several others that determined the guilt of the
accused. Moreover, his statement coincided with that of other "repentant"
members of the gang. He pointed out Cristian Favale as one of the shooters as
well as the role played by Pablo Diaz at the scene of the crime. Now, OCD 21 has
ordered that he be investigated as an alleged accomplice in the murder since a
witness saw him as he was giving order together with the convicted Jorge Daniel
Gonzalez. Benitez, according to this witness, was carrying an object that looked
like a gun.
As things stand, the witness provided by the government may well be one of the
criminals. However, we are well aware that the defense attorneys, who had
requested the annulment of Benítez' declaration and the cancellation of his
testimony, will try to make use of this point.