Susana Trimarco, mother of Marita Verón, became an emblem of the fight against human trafficking
Since 2014, the United Nations General Assembly commemorates every July 30 the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a crime that attacks women, men, adolescents and children who are exploited for different purposes, ranging from performing forced labor or services to sexual exploitation and organ trafficking.
In Argentina, whose emblematic case is that of Marita VeronCurrently, there are dozens of women who have been missing for more than 10 years in different provinces. Fernanda Aguirre in Entre Ríos, María Cash in Salta and Sofía Herrera in Tierra del Fuego are some of the examples of cases in which her whereabouts remain a great unknown.
María de los Ángeles Verón was 22 years old when the April 3, 2002, in the city of San Miguel de Tucumán, by a group dedicated to human trafficking. The intense search his mother undertook, Susana Trimarco, traveled the world and made the case an emblem of the fight against human trafficking in the country.
Throughout these 18 years, the Justice dictated convictions and ordered acquittals, but never managed to discover the whereabouts of Marita. According to what the investigators collected, the young woman, who at the time was the mother of a 2-year-old girl, was caught by a trafficking network operating in La Rioja, linked to the Ale clan, a criminal group from Tucumán.
In 2012, the investigating judge, Víctor Manuel Pérez, brought the case to trial against 13 accused of the kidnapping: the brothers linked to the “Ale” clan, María Jesús and Víctor Rivero; the owner of Rioja brothels Irma Lidia Medina, the brothers José Fernando and Gonzalo José Gómez, Daniela Natalia Milhein, Andrés González, Carlos Alberto Luna, Domingo Pascual Andrada, María Azucena Márquez; Humberto Derobertis, Mariana Bustos and Cynthia Gaitán.
Throughout that year the oral trial took place, which culminated in December with the acquittal of all the accused. In late 2013, the provincial Supreme Court partially reversed that ruling and ordered that a new chamber set the sentence for 10 of the 13 accused, since it confirmed the innocence of the Rivero brothers and, for his part, Medina had died. The court considered co-authors of the crime of retention and aggravated concealment for the prostitution of the young woman to the Gómez brothers, who were sentenced to 22 years in prison, and to Milhein and González, who received 18 years.
In turn, he condemned Luna and Andrada (17 years old) as necessary participants; Márquez (15 years old); Derobertis (12), Bustos and Gaitán (10 years old). The sentence was not final, so at the end of April 2017, Chamber II of the Criminal Chamber ordered the arrest of the condemned, who only then began to comply with the sentence.
« Every day has been an ordeal, » said Trimarco some time ago, when he had been fighting for the appearance of his daughter for more than 15 years. « Against these people who do not say what they did with Marita ».
Marita Verón was the mother of a 2-year-old baby (NA)
Within a few months, brothers Rubén “La Chancha” Ale and Ángel “Mono” Ale, whom Trimarco always linked to the disappearance of their daughter, were detained along with four other people in a case for money laundering that the judge was investigating. Federal Fernando Poviña, promoted by the Financial Investigation Unit based on the complaints made by Trimarco. In April 2018, the Ale brothers were sentenced to 10 years in prison for being considered the heads of an illicit association, dedicated to the crime of money laundering, while María Jesús Rivero received a 6-year sentence.
For his part, Fernanda Aguirre I was 13 years old when she was kidnapped on July 25, 2004 While walking home from the flower stall her family has in front of the San Benito cemetery, 10 kilometers from Paraná.
« We continue to hope to have her among us one day, » Mario Anscieviu, the teenager’s uncle, told .. A feeling shared by all the relatives of the victims.
The police detained Miguel Ángel Lencina, who was enjoying work from the prison where he was serving a sentence for the murder of a woman, as a suspect in extortion kidnapping with his partner Mirta Chávez. Lencina appeared hanged in the cell of the police station, while Chávez was sentenced in 2007 to 17 years in prison, accused of being the one who contacted the Aguirre family by phone to request a ransom of 2,000 pesos for the minor.
Fernanda Aguirre was 13 years old when she disappeared from her home in Entre Ríos
During the trial, the woman claimed to be unaware of the fate that her husband gave to the teenager after kidnapping her, something that the police investigation and the trial could not determine.
After an intense search to find her daughter, in 2010 María Inés Cabrol, Fernanda’s mother, died of a terminal illness. He was 45 years old. In his last statement to the media he had said that « in every girl’s face I see I look for my daughter. » Ten years later, Fernanda’s uncle asked that the search continue « as in the beginning, so that María Inés rest in peace. » « The search must continue so that there is no other Fernanda, » he said.
In case of Florence Pennachi, a 25-year-old neuquina who studied in Buenos Aires, met the March 16, 2005, when she left her apartment in Barrio Norte to fire some friends and was never heard from again. « Neuquén is a destination for trafficking, rather than for recruitment and that explains why we do not have so many cases of missing women in the province, there are brothels here where women who are captured in other places are exploited, » revealed the federal prosecutor. Cristina Beute.
Another case also occurred in 2005, which, at 15 years, remains unsolved. In La Rioja, Ramona Nicolasa Mercado was 13 years old when on April 26 of that year she disappeared five blocks from her home, in the neighborhood “El Sembrador”. According to statements from his family, his disappearance to this day continues to be linked to a human trafficking network.
For 15 years her parents led marches demanding the search and appearance of her daughter, denouncing in the media that the investigation by the La Rioja justice and police « was not competent and allowed several months to pass without working specifically on the hypothesis of kidnapping ”.
In Land of Fire, in the year 2008Three-year-old Sofía Yasmín Herrera disappeared. The girl was last seen on September 28 at the John Goodall campsite, 59 kilometers from Río Grande, where she had gone with her family.
Sofía disappeared in 2008. The judge in charge of the case ordered the updating of her image.
It was only an instant that Sofia separated from her parents, but they never saw her again. The investigators followed several tracks such as the alleged kidnapping to take her to Chile or to some other Argentine province.
Monday, Judge Daniel Cesari Hernández ordered the fourth update of his image and prompted a complete review of the proceedings. Five judges have already passed the case and there is only one accused: Alberto Urrutia, caretaker of the campsite, who was dismissed.
Another case that is still under investigation is that of Natalia Acosta, a 25-year-old girl who She was last seen on May 29, 2009 in Santa Fe. The case was first labeled as « whereabouts investigation » and in 2016 it went to Federal Justice as it was considered « human trafficking ».
In 2017 Osvaldo Cerri, who worked in a cabaret in the area, was arrested. He admitted to taking the woman to the brothel, but denied having participated in her disappearance. Cerri died in prison of a coronary disease. “The heart was not wanted to be operated by a shit; He preferred to die because he knew that if he spoke, he would uncover the pot and splash many powerful people, « said María Cristina, Natalia’s mother.
In 2011, Maria Cash He left Retiro bound for Jujuy. It was last seen in Salta, on July 8 of that year when it was captured by the security cameras of the highway concessionaire, at the access toll to the city. The last raking was in November, in a mountainous area of the Salta area of Palomitas. Until today there are no traces of the Buenos Aires designer.
María Cash’s mother, demanding the appearance of her daughter
Five years ago, a July 19, 2015, Gisela Gutiérrez, 24, disappeared when she went to visit her sister in the La Favorita neighborhood, Mendoza. The young woman had reported that days before she had been kidnapped and raped by five people, including Marcos Aguilera, her ex-partner and father of two of her three children. Justice intervened but there were no resolutions.
The lawyer Fernando Peñaloza took the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and criticized that « even though Gutiérrez had denounced being a victim of human trafficking, the Federal Justice did not activate the physical protection mechanisms and she was disappeared » .
In Chaco, Maira Benítez (18) was last seen on December 17 2016 in Villa Angela. The local Crime Chamber sentenced Rodrigo Silva to 21 years in prison for simple homicide and, although in August 2019 they found skeletal remains in a rural area near where the young woman lived, the Justice did a DNA comparison but could not prove if they corresponded to the disappeared one.
In Córdoba, human rights, social organizations and political parties maintain claims for the appearance of Jimena Arias, Marisol Rearte, Luz Oliva, Silvia Gallardo, Delia Polijo, Facundo Alegre and Yamila Cuello, who have been missing for 5 to 12 years in circumstances. linked to human trafficking.
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