There will be a protest outside Congress at 6 PM today organized by a group of family members of victims and survivors affected by crime and judicial impunity under the rallying cry #ParaQueNoTePase (“So it doesn’t happen to you) to demand more “concrete measures to combat crime” and put an end to “security issues, injustice and impunity.” The organizers appeared in a video last week to promote the march against inseguridad — the catchall phrase used to describe anything that is security-related.
Many of those who appeared on the screen became well-known to Argentines years ago so may have been unfamiliar to younger generations, or those who haven’t been paying attention to local news for that long.
“Before our children were taken away from us, we had a different life, but from that moment on, everything changed and we think it’s important for the judicial system to start seeing that all of these deaths were preventable,” said Nilda Gómez, one of the march organizers.
Here are the crimes and the victims that are at the head of the march.
Carolina Píparo was victim of a crime known as salideras, when people are attacked on leaving the bank after withdrawing money. She was shot outside a Santander Río in La Plata in 2010. Her case was particularly shocking for one simple reason: she was nine months pregnant at the time. Píparo was forced into labor by the attack and her baby died in the hospital a week later. Last year, a controversial ruling meant that the men convicted of the crime had their sentences reduced.
“We’re all victims of different, avoidable incidents. But we have points and demands in common: control and protection, official legal assistance for victims and an official victims registry,” said Píparo in a TN interview.
Aida Isabel Rodas and Nilda Gómez are mothers of people who died in the tragic fire in the Cromañon nightclub that left 194 people dead and 714 injured in 2004. Silvina Gómez actually survived the fire and lost her husband.
A popular band Callejeros was playing that night, having sold 3,500 tickets when the legal capacity of the night club was 1,031. A fire broke out when a flare was set off, but many fire exits were locked, trapping fans inside, the soundproofing system was not fireproof (to cut costs) and the ventilation system was not turned on. The tragedy and the negligence detected in the safety mechanisms for night clubs led to the impeachment of the mayor of the City of Buenos Aires at the time, Aníbal Ibarra.
María Luján Rey
María Luján Rey’s son died in the 2012 Buenos Aires railway disaster, also known as the Once Tragedy, in which 51 people were killed and 789 were injured when a train of the Sarmiento line crashed into the buffers at the Once train station, the end of the line, because the brakes were not activated. The first three carriages, which were full of commuters, were severely damaged, resulting in the death of 51 people and 789 injured.
Luján Rey’s case garnered media attention because the body of her 20-year-old son, Lucas Meghini Rey, was only found three days after the accident.
Last year, former Transportation Secretaries Ricardo Jaime and Juan Pablo Schiavi were sentenced to six and eight years in prison, respectively, for their negligence leading up tot he accident. Former Planning Minister Julio De Vido is also facing charges.
“We became victims not only because of inseguridad but also because of corruption and impunity. We need preventative policies and control. Risks should be minimized and citizens should not be left vulnerable,” Luján Rey said ahead of the march.
Matías Bagnato is the only survivor of what is known as the “Flores Massacre” in which his entire family was murdered while they slept by the arsonist Fructuoso Álvaro González in February 1994. Bagnato’s parents, younger brothers and a friend who was sleeping over were all killed in the fire that was allegedly set off as revenge for an unsettled debt of AR$2,000.
González was convicted to prison in 1995 but in 2004 was benefited by an agreement to exchange prisoners with Spain (González has Asturian origins) and was extradited to Europe, where he was later freed due to a judicial error in 2008, when he is believed to have returned to Argentina with false documents. He was arrested again in 2011.
“Our goal is to unite so the three powers of the state listen to us,” says Bagnato.
Aduriz’s daughter, Ángeles Rawson, disappeared in Palermo on June 10 2013 when returning home from school. Social media exploded during the search and her body was found 24 hours later on a huge garbage processing site known as CEAMSE in José León Suárez: she was 16 years old.
The mystery surrounding her death was featured heavily in the press for weeks. Eventually the doorman of her building, Jorge Mangeri, was convicted of homicide and sentenced in July 2015 after he confessed.
“All of the cases we are marching for had a common denominator: the deaths were preventable,” said Aduriz.
Gladys Cabezas is the sister of José Luis Cabezas, a photographer for Noticias magazine who was murdered in the seaside town of Pinamar in 1997. He was kidnapped after taking the first public photos of Alfredo Yabrán, a postal service mogul under investigation for corruption. His body was found in a burnt car with his hands tied behind his back and two shots in the head
Gladys received a special mention at the Perfil awards last week in the “Freedom of Speech” category and made the most of her speech to call people to participate in today’s march:
“This is a chance to transform pain into a fight and to continue helping [so] many families of victims who have united to put an end to injustice, to impunity and lack of security. It isn’t against a specific government,” said Cabezas.
There are other, less well-known cases, that are also represented in the march: Viviam Perrone and Karina Muñoz, whose sons were killed in road accidents; Noemí Miralles, whose six-year-old nephew was kidnapped in 2005 and his body found in a septic tank; María Esther Radiminski’s son Alex Ayala, a hairdresser from Lanús, was murdered as two youths stole his car and Roberto Almeida, whose wife Ana Dominguez was murdered by her ex husband.
Voters often cite the catch-all term inseguridad as their number one concern, which is why the protest has resonated: nine out of 10 people in the province of Buenos Aires cite crime-related issues as their main concern. As a result, President Mauricio Macri announced today that there will be a “Judicial Indec,” which will include all official information on judicial proceedings online.
#ParaQueNoTePase has also become a Trending Topic on Twitter ahead of the march.