When Justice is neither blindfolded nor fair

When Justice is neither blindfolded nor fair

Illustration by Osvaldo Révora for Télam

Fate wanted that, in parallel to the dissemination of the video (filmed by the macrista AFI in June 2017) where the “Reichsführer” Marcelo Villegas expresses his desire to have “A Gestapo to end the guilds”, the ex-governor María Eugenia Vidal added another little problem: the appearance of two audios that place her –together with the former Minister of Security, Cristian Ritondo, the former Chief of Cabinet, Federico Salvai, and the (still) Attorney General Julio Conte Grand– on top of the judicial table of the territory he was in charge of.

Those records were recorded, with a tone of repentance, by the deputy commissioner of La Bonaerense, Hernán Casassa, who was the police arm of such a persecutory gang. And they have just been contributed by one of his victims, the former sciolist chief of staff, Alberto Pérez, to the case that federal judge Ernesto Kreplak is processing in this regard.

The prosecutor lvaro Garganta Photo Carlos Cermele
The prosecutor Álvaro Garganta. (Photo: Carlos Cermele)

Because Daniel Scioli and his main officials also added to the list of those harassed by the regime of the Cambiemos alliance. So they were “covered” for money laundering and fraud against the public administration, among other imaginary crimes. To this end, there were surveillance and “capachas” (as they say when snooping houses by undercover agents) to economic espionage –with reports from the Nosis, the AFIP, the AFI, the Financial Information Unit (UIF). ) and Migrations – through wiretapping and around a hundred raids on homes, offices, and even the La Ñata club, where the ex-governor usually plays futsal. And not without the traditional media escraches.

Legally, the executor of the matter was one of Conte Grand’s favorite henchmen: the prosecutor from La Plata Álvaro Garganta.
By the way, his leading role in this plot is linked to a recurrence –directly– genetic. To understand it, it is necessary to go back almost six decades.

Of such a splinter, such a stick

Young Penjerek's death was the headline of all media six decades ago
The death of the young Penjerek was the head of all media six decades ago.

It was the spring of 1963. And Pedro Vecchio, a 47-year-old merchant who owned a shoe store next to the Florencio Varela station, was going through a vicissitude that he never imagined for himself.

The guy was like sunk in a chair from which he would not fall because his wrists were tied behind the backrest. His face showed the traces of abuse: a black eye and a thread of blood ran from his mouth.

The scene took place in an office of the Homicide Division. In front of him, with his shirt rolled up, an immensely tall man gave him an unsettling look. It was the curator Jorge Silvio Colotto.

Suddenly she held out a blade towards him. And in a cavernous voice, he said:

–With a signature the nightmare ends.

It was an apocryphal confession drawn up by Colotto himself, He wanted that poor bastard to take charge of nothing less than the murder of Norma Mirta Penjerek, a 16-year-old teenager who had disappeared on May 29 of the previous year.

After a month and a half, a female body was unearthed in a Lavallol wasteland. It showed some stabbing and signs of strangulation

Was it Norma Mirta? The truth is that the autopsy specified that It was a woman four years older and four inches taller. But the judge in the case assumed it was hers. And she was buried under a tombstone with her name in the Israelite cemetery of La Tablada.

The case shook public opinion. And as often happens, there were several hypotheses in dance. Those wielded by the press – always based on “official sources” – They oscillated between the sexual motive and a revenge towards the girl’s father, a municipal employee to whom they claimed – without real support – an indirect participation in the capture of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

Colotto favored the first possibility; the judge, for the second. Still, they agreed on one point: solving the enigma would catapult them to glory. But they had no means to advance the investigation. So the case was stalled at a standstill.

That lasted 16 months. Until, suddenly, Marta Sisti, a 23-year-old prostitute, slipped into the plot stopping at a corner of Constitución, after suffering one of his usual arrests for exercising the trade.

“I know who killed the Penjerek girl,” he told the police without anyone having asked him about it.

Then what targeted Vecchio, by syndicating him as a member of a network dedicated to “white trafficking” –As it was said then– that provided “fresh meat” to wealthy men for their orgies. And he claimed time and again to have seen Norma Mirta in one of those “jubilees”.

Although Sisti’s version was full of weak points, her testimony would allow “fabricating” the clarification of the case. This was understood by both the police investigator and the investigating magistrate.

“Firm, damn it!” Colotto insisted, during that spring night.

Cornered by fear, Vecchio had no choice but to obey

Minutes later, the judge answered a call to his home phone. Colotto’s voice sounded more hollow than ever:

“The shoemaker put the hook, doctor!”

The doctor’s name was Alberto Garganta. Perhaps in that communication the scream that, from his cradle, Alvarito, the judge’s first-born, born six months earlier, uttered.

In the morning, Garganta ordered the preventive detention of Vecchio, who was immediately housed in the Villa Devoto jail. The magistrate, at age 33, was touching the sky with his hands. And Colotto had become the hero of the moment.

But nothing is durable.

The true aspect of that investigation came to light after a year and a half due to another incident by Sisti, this time in the ears of Vecchio’s defender.

It turns out that a certain Luis Fernández, a photographer by profession and neighbor of the jailed man, had given her some pesos to accuse him. Apparently, little approval would have caused him that Vecchio took his daughter into his home after a strong fight with him. That was just enough to unleash his revengeful anger.

So the Crime Chamber was able to definitively dismiss Vecchio, who was released on April 5, 1965.
The murder of Norma Mirta Penjerek definitely went unpunished.

Commissioner Colotto, after being accused of illegal constraints, was made available. Until the end of his days he swore that Vecchio was the culprit.

In turn, in an interview conducted in May 2012 by the journalist Héctor Gambini for the Clarín newspaper, Garganta, at the age of 83, falsely attributed Vecchio’s release from prison “upon proving his innocence.” “In the end it was shown that he had nothing to do with it,” was his synthesis.

The law of the “garrón”

Osvaldo Karateca Martnez was unjustly detained for the four-fold crime in La Plata
Osvaldo “Karateca” Martínez was unjustly detained for the quadruple crime in La Plata.

While the elderly former judge Garganta was lending himself in his residence in La Plata to Clarín’s questions, not far from there, in the “Roberto Pettinato” Alcaidía, located on Route 36 and Calle 47 of that city, a prisoner was surprised filing the bars of his cell. It was Osvaldo “Karateca” Martínez. Reasons were not lacking for wanting to escape.

At the time it would be known that he was there because of a quadruple femicide that he did not commit. The architect of his misfortune was none other than the prosecutor Álvaro Garganta.

It was during the night of November 27, 2010 when the victims – Barbara Santos; his mother, Susana Bárttole; his daughter, Micaela, and a family friend, Marisol Pereyra – were beaten and stabbed to death in a house in the La Loma neighborhood. The obstinacy of the instructors, the son of Don Alberto and the Judge of Guarantees, Guillermo Atencio, for involving Martínez, who was Barbara’s boyfriend, was notable.

Candela Sol Rodríguez the 11-year-old girl murdered in 2011
Candela Sol Rodríguez, the 11-year-old girl murdered in 2011.

Without evidence, he was imprisoned for six months. He was released on September 26 of the following year by order of the Chamber of La Plata. A blow to the judge and Garganta himself, whose work was described in a lapidary way in the appeal ruling. Perhaps in such circumstances, the prosecutor has evoked his colleague Marcelo Tavolaro, whom the case that had as a victim the girl Candela Sol Rodríguez, murdered shortly before in the town of Villa Tesei, led him to the ledge.

For the crime scene, both were the highest grossing events of that year and their refucilos still dazzled the public. The investigation into the kidnapping and death of the girl –Coined with fictitious data, planted evidence, unidentified witnesses and the arrest of innocent people– It had no other purpose than to cover up, in the outskirts of that crime, the business of the uniformed with the underworld. The investigation into the deaths of the four women – whose uneven zigzagging was fueled by a fanciful hypothesis, contradictory expertise, doubtful testimony, and the arrest of an innocent – showed more diffuse motivations: the perseverance of the judge and the prosecutor in confusing their hunches with reality.

Garganta during the investigation of the multiple murder of La Plata Photo Eva Cabrera
Garganta, during the investigation of the multiple murder of La Plata. (Photo: Eva Cabrera)

At the time the real culprit was arrested: Javier Quiroga (a) “La Hiena”, a bricklayer who maintained a sentimental bond with Mrs. Susana. He is currently serving a life sentence.

How far can an obsessive reverie lead individuals with university education and training in the administration of Justice towards the exercise of crime? Because – at least theoretically – the arbitrary arrest of innocent people is a crime. And if, for this purpose, crucial evidence is also concealed, the crime is aggravated.

According to the ruling of the House, the Atencio-Garganta duo would have committed such dysfunctions, among others. Strange, since there was no dark business underlying the quadruple crime. But the assembly of causes to force the false clarification of a crime usually has specific reasons or, as in this case, it is simply the fruit of ineptitude.

The truth is that, under the Macrista regime, that of the Prosecutor Garganta has been capitalized to the sacred exercise of lawfare.

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