Mother of seven, Ana Barbeli (39) was attacked and killed by her ex husband yesterday in her home in Entre Ríos. Miguel Cáceres (55) used a machete in the murder that took place in front of their two youngest children. He was arrested soon after, allegedly while trying to commit suicide.
The ex-husband-turned-killer carried out the heinous crime on the exact day that he was due to leave the family home, situated in the Centenario neighborhood of Rosario del Tala, as the couple had legally separated. Leaving little doubt that this was a coincidence – before parting, he took a large machete which he used to attack and kill his ex wife.
After the murder, he fled from the house on a motorbike, leaving the ten-year-old and twelve-year-old with their mother’s body. Three of the couple’s other children were also in the house at the time, sleeping in a bedroom, and were awoken by the sound of their mother’s screams.
The police, instructed by prosecutors Albertina Chichi and Eduardo Santo, found Cáceres just after noon as he was attempting to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree on the side of a highway, 20 kilometres from the crime scene. He was rescued and taken to the San Roque hospital, where he remains.
According to Uno Entre Ríos, the couple had seven children, six of whom lived in the house, and are between the ages of ten and twenty-three, and are currently being cared for by relatives and psychologists.
Eduardo Santo, one of the prosecutor’s in charge on the case, has told Télam that there was domestic violence going on within the family: “Thanks to the testimonies of the children – of the ages 10, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 23 – we’ve realised that there was clearly a situation of gender violence and domestic violence. It was not physical violence, but psychological.”
He clarified that the ex husband “was very jealous, to the point where he didn’t let her work… he controlled everything.”
Zulma, the victim’s sister, has told the press that Barbeli “had expressed that she experienced domestic violence” and she “had been putting forward allegations for quite some time”.
“She had been denouncing her husband for four months. How can it be that there are so many reports made and they still don’t do a follow-up to remove the guy from the home?” she asked.
However, police sources told Télam that they had not found any records of allegations made by the victim against her husband in the area’s police stations. It is known, however, that last Friday the victim expressed her concerns during a domestic violence workshop.
This murder is the latest addition in a string of femicides seen in Entre Ríos so far this month. On the 5th, Miriam Ibarra (35) and Norma Milessi (45) were murdered in Paraná by their ex partners; two days later in Concepción del Uruguay, Johana Carranza (23), her two young daughters and her new partner were killed by her ex husband.
The scope of the problem continues. On the 6th, Evangelina Moledo (23) was attacked and left paralysed by her ex partner in Concordia; and on the 9th, the body of Jéssica Dos Santos (35) was found in a park in Paraná – she’d been strangled to death.