The trial that investigates six homicides and the appropriation and sexual abuse committed against two boys and a girl during the last dictatorship, it enters its final stretch with requests for life imprisonment for a former minister and six police officers and 21 years in prison for a former judicial official of that time.
This is the trial called “Hogar de Belén”, for the home for minors in the city of Banfield where Carlos, María and Mariano Ramírez, aged 5, 3 and 2, respectively, were housed.after his mother, Vicenta Orrego Meza de Ramírez, was assassinated by military and police forces in an operation in March 1977 in the house they lived in Almirante Brown.
The Fiscal Unit that intervenes in the processes for crimes against humanity in La Plata, made up of the attorney general Hernán Schapiro and the assistant prosecutors Juan Martín Nogueira and Ana Oberlín, in addition to requesting the sentences, demanded three innovative measures: a statement of truth for the three brothers; that the newspapers correct the information provided about the operations where the six people died and that the Hogar de Belén, still in operation, become a memory space.
The trial, which the Federal Oral Court 1 of La Plata began on March 4, 2022enters its final stretch after, after the presentations of the prosecution, next Thursday the defense lawyers allege.
The defendants are the former Buenos Aires Government Minister Jaime Smart, the former commissioner and head of the Banfield Well, Juan Miguel Wolk and the former Buenos Aires police officers who were in the Lanús Investigation Brigade Roberto Guillermo Catinari, Héctor Raúl Francescangeli, Armando Antonio Calabró, Rubén Carlos Chávez and José Augusto López, a former police officer from the same brigade, as well as the former secretary of the Juvenile Court No. 1 of Lomas de Zamora Nora Susana Pellicer.
The repressor Miguel Etchecolatz was indicted but went unpunished for these acts when he died in prison on July 2, at the age of 93.
Assistant prosecutor Nogueira explained to Télam that “it is a complex trial divided on the one hand by two operations in which he saw the involvement of the Buenos Aires province police in bothand where the homicides, when qualified, are all (deserving) of life sentences”.
“On the other hand, the responsibility regarding the facts of the Hogar de Belén is being investigated, based on the appropriation of the Ramírez brothers where the only person alive who intervened in that process is Nora Pellicer, there are three appropriations and 21 were requested years” in prison, he explained.
“With Dr. Oberlin we had the challenge of proposing an alternative to the Court to give justice to those brothers, the link between the events they suffered with the dictatorship was analyzed and it was possible to verify how these boys were in subhuman conditions and how each sexual abuse they suffered was associated with causing them to lose their identity and their status as children of persons disappeared and murdered by the dictatorship,” he explained.
He explained that “every abuse and mistreatment had a derogatory connotation towards the parents, with the same stereotypes of the dictatorship, that they were subversive parents, etc.”
Nogueira affirmed that the Hogar de Belén “was a place that functioned as a concentration device.”
“The Home was specifically linked to people who belonged to repressive forces, who attended the place, held meetings and parties, and that was not only said by the Ramírez brothers,” he stressed.
“We verified that from the beginning to the end of the 7 years that the brothers’ lodging lasted, a whole series of conditions were artificially built to keep the Ramírez brothers hidden in the home, with full knowledge of who they were, where they came from, and hiding from the family that they were looking for them where they were,” he explained.
He maintained that the accused ex-functionary “attested and put in the minutes things that served to commit crimes against identity.”
The men who sexually abused and mistreated the brothers are either dead or insane to stand trial and this led the prosecution to propose that the brothers receive “a statement of truth”.
Nogueira specified that there is national jurisprudence and the inter-American system that speaks of the right to the truth. He remarked that “we ask that this statement of truth be expressed in the verdict, which would be the first time that progress would be made in this regard in a cause against humanity.”
Nogueira said that it was requested that the Hogar de Belén be disaffected and, once the boys and girls housed there were relocated, that it be turned into a memory space.
“We also ask that the newspapers Clarín and La Nación, which published information on the two operations, following the official accounts, distorting the reality of the murders, rectify the news, that they dealt with attacks and murders,” he pointed out.