The investigation is reborn for the death of a bishop threatened by the dictatorship

The investigation is reborn for the death of a bishop threatened by the dictatorship

Photo: File.

Like what happened with the bishop in La Rioja, Enrique Angelelli, assassinated during the military dictatorship simulating a road accident, the investigation into the death of Bishop Carlos Horacio Ponce de León, who in those years in the town of San Nicolás, northeast of the province of Buenos Aires, is heading to show that chance had little to do with the incident that ended up costing him his life. Ponce applied the precepts of the Second Vatican Council in which he had participated as a member of the hierarchy of the Argentine church.

“My uncle came out of the Second Vatican Council and put into practice the precepts of the social doctrine of the church. It was an ecclesiastical job, he did not take a political flag. He did it from the church. Also, At that time, he wrote an article in defense of Bishop Angelelli, he received the relatives of the detained-disappeared and moved to find them, for example, by going to the prisons.”, reflected María Isabel Ponce de León, niece of the bishop, who for many years had been waiting for the judicial hearing to present the expert opinion that was presented last week before the Court of Appeals of the city of Rosario, with the intention of discovering the truth about the death of Monsignor Ponce de León, on July 11, 1977.

“Traitor to church and country”that’s how he rated it intelligence reports and publicly to Ponce de León Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Fernando Saint Amant, who died in prison where he was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity.

Reckless actions were added to the defamation campaign against the bishop. Among them, searches of the religious when he was walking on public roads and the culmination point was the imprisonment of eight priestsby the simple will of the “lord and master” that the military dictatorship had placed in one of the largest manufacturing centers in Argentina.

The priests in the towns and popular neighborhoods, the pastoral care of the poorest children -such as pastorally organizing the reception of the migrants, who arrived by the thousands to work in the manufacturing zone-, was the daily task of Ponce de León and the reasons that caused the calumny. “The Red Bishop” said Saint Amant, and the justification for the plot against him that remains unpunished although a fundamental test has just been produced to reach the truth in the outcome of the life of a man who at 63 years old was a hierarch of the Catholic Church until Driving his small Renault 4, he collided with an F-100 truck that was crossed as a barricade on National Route 9, which connects San Nicolás with the City of Buenos Aires.

Photo File
Photo: File.

“The bishop impacted 70 kilometers away with the truck almost stopped,” Jorge Geretto, a graduate in Accidentology and Road Prevention, who carried out the test, told Télam. expert report presented in the case for the complaint, that is, the Secretary of Human Rights of the Nation and Province of Buenos Aires, which claims that the cover of the Ponce de León case does not continue to be a guilty accident and becomes Against Humanity.

“The expert investigation reports that none of the research hypotheses confirms the collision. From the photos and the reconstruction of the event based on the three statements, all different from each other, of the alleged driver of the truck, I can assure you that the manner of the alleged accident is not proven.”, affirmed Geretto, who uses the same software for his expert reports, called “PCRASH” that is applied by forensic experts, investigators, insurers, automobile companies and the scientific police of various European countries such as the United States.

The expert witness did not testify in person, on June 1, since in the judicial hearing a video with the technical plans and his voice-over that involved 30 minutes of technical arguments thanks to the analysis with the PCRASH software that allows the almost exact reproduction of road accidents, between vehicles, people, animals and constructions, among other functions.

In addition to the expert analysis evidence emerges that the truck did not cross transversally, but was almost stopped on the road that day of dense fog. It was also not possible to verify the driving time that the driver of the F-100 truck from where he left said, “said the expert, who added that” the simulation with virtual occupants does not verify the movement of the two people who refer having been in the vehicle at the time of the impact given that the F-100 truck did not have a seat belt and neither the driver nor the passenger had injuries recorded in the criminal case.” Therefore, no one believes that they were sitting in their seats at the time of the impact of the Renault 4 that the persecuted bishop was driving.

The judges of Chamber B of Appeals, chaired by Guillermo Toledo and made up of Elida Vidal and Fernando Barbará, have the power to decide whether to uphold or revoke Judge Marcelo Bailaque’s ruling, which at the time did not lead to annulment due to res judicata. irritia, that is, annul the final sentence of 1978, which does not contain basic evidence to determine the bishop’s death.

The head of the Assistance Unit for cases of human rights violations during State terrorism in Rosario, Prosecutor Adolfo Villatte, together with his assistant, Juan Patricio Murray, reported in their appeal statement before the Federal Chamber that the Ford F -100 used as a barricade on the route was owned by the firm “Agropolo SA”, which is made up of members of the Bottini family, one of whose brothers, Alejandro Atilio, was working for the Ministry of Defense at the time of the events and later -as civilian intelligence personnel of the army- in Headquarters II of the Army Command-in-Chief.

On the other hand, the federal prosecutor of San Nicolás, Matías Di Lello, presented before Judge Bailaque, provided a series of Irregularities and shortcomings in the 1977 investigationstill in force, such as: the no accident expertise (which was now carried out as we quoted in paragraphs above), the lack of witnesses to the event, autopsy was not performed about the deceased bishop, and The multiple and constant death threats received by Ponce de León were also not documented..

The judicial sources consulted affirmed to this medium that “the accidentological expertise, produced by Engineer Geretto, in an objective and reliable manner, determines the impossibility that the events occurred as reported by the driver, Luis Antonio Martínezand on the contrary, it establishes that the only way of producing the fatal accident is that the van was expressly stopped across the San Nicolás/Buenos Aires hand of National Route 9 and without occupants.

The judges of the Federal Chamber of Rosario have to determine whether or not they accept the revocation of what has been sentenced so far. In addition, prosecutor Di Lello and Murray asked the chamberlains to order the judge of first instance to arrest and investigate those they consider to be part of the plot against the bishop. They are: Antonio Federico Bossie, who at the time of the events was chief of operations and intelligence of Military Area 132; Bernardo Luis Landa, who was head of logistics and personnel of the same Military Area and Saint Amant’s assistant, now deceased; Omar Andrada, who held the position of chief of the San Nicolás section of the 101 intelligence detachment; and Luis Américo Muñoz, who was second in command of the intelligence detachment. They also asked that Sergio Carlos Bottini, who acted as a companion to the truck driver, and Luis Antonio Martínez, who played the role of alleged driver of the Ford F-100 truck, be charged.

The times to know the failure of the maids only God knows.

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