The butcher who killed a thief by running him over with his car was released today and gave a heartbreaking statement to the gaggle of media gathered outside his home. Daniel Oyarzún, 37, was evidently overwhelmed by how he suddenly was thrust into the spotlight this week when he became the inadvertent star of a debate that has engulfed the nation regarding vigilante justice. Even President Mauricio Macri waded into the debate yesterday, saying Oyarzún should not have been remanded in custody because he was not a flight risk.
It has all been obviously too much for Oyarzún, who made it clear he was not proud of what he did and regrets the events of that day. “If I could go back in time I would,” Oyarzún said amid tears and inconsolable sobbing. “I totally regret it.” On Tuesday, Oyarzún’s life took a sudden turn when he got in his car and chased after two armed men who had sped off in a bike after stealing AR$5,000 from a butcher’s shop in Zarate, located in the Greater Buenos Aires area.
“I don’t know what could happen to me,” Oyarzún said as part of a short statement that was so muffled by his crying that he was difficult to understand at first. “This is what I most wanted, to be with my family. I’m a good person, a father and nothing else.”
The heartbreaking statement by Oyarzún uttered as he struggled to catch his breath between sobs, makes clear what people often like to forget—those who take justice into their own hands often aren’t happy about what they did. Those who defend the killing of criminals like to use tough-guy language and act as if the victim-turned-killer should be proud of what he (or she) did, but the truth is always more complicated.
In this case, Oyarzún insists he does not know what came over him. “I only wanted to recover what was mine because I work every day,” he said alongside his wife, his parents and brother. “I don’t know what came over me at that time.”