Two federal prosecutors requested bring to trial a case in which five Buenos Aires police officers and a civilian are accused of having planned and executed two extortive kidnappings with eight victims to the ones that kept Captives in a police station in the town of Ciudad Evita, while they asked their families for ransom so that they would not be detained.
The request was made by the federal prosecutor 2 of Morón, Mariela Labozzetta, and the prosecutor in charge of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Unit in Extortive Kidnappings (Ufese), Santiago Marquevich, before the federal judge 2, Jorge Ernesto Rodríguez, according to the information on the Fiscales.gob.ar institutional site of the Public Ministry.
In their request, prosecutors Labozzetta and Marquevich maintained that “the criminal maneuver was carried out – almost entirely – by police officers who were in the exercise of their functions”, who “misused the power they held” and “they committed the facts trying to cover them up under the cloak of a legal procedure.”
The denounced criminal acts took place on September 28 and October 13, 2020, where two extortive kidnappings were carried out with four victims in each.
On both occasions, the victims had agreed to meet with one of the defendants – the only civilian accused of being a member of the gang – in order to commit a robbery. When they arrived at the meeting place, they were intercepted by police officers, who reduced them, beat and insulted them, and then transferred them to the José Ingenieros police station, in Ciudad Evita, La Matanza district, from where they were forced to communicate with their relatives to demand money from them in exchange for their release.
According to the request of the prosecutors, the defendants “in both cases sought a group of victims to whom they could offer a ‘deal’ linked to a criminal activity,” with the aim of “masking the true purposes proposed.”
Furthermore, Labozzetta and Marquevich added that the two events “were carried out in a coordinated manner on the basis of a common plan previously drawn up” and that the defendants “had full knowledge of the criminal action and their wills were directed towards the success of the criminal plan.”
“These circumstances lead us to affirm that these people started a whole scheme whose objective was to kidnap the victims to collect ransom for their release, not foreseeing in any of the cases that it would be judicially investigated since it was unlikely that a group of victims who were in a certain place to commit a crime would denounce the fact of which they were finally victims“, indicated the representatives of the Public Ministry.
In the first event, the victims were released after their relatives handed over 300 thousand pesos in the vicinity of the Alberto Balestrini hospital in Ciudad Evita, located a few blocks from the detachment to which the accused policemen belonged.
While, in the second event, the hostages were released without the ransom being paid in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Constitución, where the delivery had been agreed.
The victims reported that in both cases the eight youths were beaten and some of their belongings were taken away.
Therefore, based on the evidence collected during the investigation, Labozzetta and Marquevich requested that part of the agents belonging to the José Ingenieros police detachment go to trial for being “co-perpetrators of the crimes of extortionate kidnapping aggravated by the collection of the ransom, for the intervention of three or more people, and for being members of a security force; robbery aggravated by having been committed with a firearm whose aptitude for shooting could not be proven, committed in a town and in a gang and because its authors were members of a security force, and breach of the duties of a public official “.
Due to the same facts, although without the aggravating circumstance of being a member of a security force, the elevation of the investigation was required with respect to the civilian, who is a merchant by profession. Finally, the prosecution requested the extraction of testimonies to deepen the investigation regarding other possible participants in the fact under investigation.