Trial by Cecilia Basaldúa: nine hearings that still do not incriminate the accused

The second week of hearings for the trial of Cecilia Basaldúa ended on Thursday. On Friday, the popular jury moved to the alleged place of femicide to carry out an ocular inspection. After three days in which the police declared more contradictions, on Thursday Cecilia’s brothers and sister gave testimony and a virtual reconstruction of the event was shown that left more doubts than certainties. Outside, the daily hug between family members was with Olga Tallaprieta, the mother of Jorge Reyna, the young man who was found dead at the Capilla del Monte Police Station in 2013.

Two weeks ago, on the steps of the courts of Cruz del Eje, the aguayo was displayed, photos, flowers, a colored incense burner were placed, the candles were lit and the ritual began. Inside the modern building that has the Cruz del Ejeña justice, the incense became the unusual aroma that reaches the courtroom.

Around three o’clock the statements of Guillermo, Facundo and Soledad Basaldúa began, who made it clear that Cecilia always communicated, “being in Mexico, in the most remote places. She never walked without her backpack. Her backpack was her house, ”said Facundo. “She was not crazy, nor obsessive, much less psychotic. A person with a huge heart. She thought such a macho world was unfair, “Guillermo said.

Facundo and Soledad Basaldúa declared that the messages they had from their sister were sent to the former deputy commissioner Zárate -responsible for the investigation, imprisoned in Bouwer for robbery, minor injuries and illegitimate deprivation of liberty of a minor-, who communicated with Soledad daily during the search. “All the information that came to me was passed on to Zárate.”

Image: Juan Mazzeo.
Image: Juan Mazzeo.

On April 20, five days before Cecilia was found dead, Soledad remembers that her sister’s friends sent her a screenshot of Facebook where they read that a body had been found in the Capilla del Monte dump, ” and I passed it on to Zárate, it was on a news portal, it said it was the body of a woman”. This news, which was deleted within hours of the networks, was also recalled in other testimonies from neighbors of Capilla.

Cecilia’s brothers reported the biased investigation carried out by Prosecutor Paula Kelm to support the hypothesis of the psychotic outbreak, selectively using her private messages. “I passed on the personal chats I had with my sister in good faith,” Facundo said in relation to the information provided to Zárate. They gave the Prosecutor’s Office what was useful to them, they omitted all the chat where my sister talks about Mario Mainardi. They manipulated those chats. I distrust you, – alluding to Carlos Escudero, president of the Court – who was deputy commissioner. I distrust every person with a gun.”

the middle room

“Today I find myself accompanying Ceci’s parents. We are all in the same fight, since it was the same police that took our children from our side”, says Olga as the flag with the image of “Jorgito” is unfurled, behind the posters with the faces of Cecilia. Thursday’s photo.

Towards the end of 2019, Olga Tallaprieta found out through a court document from Prosecutor Paula Kelm, that the file of her son’s case was available. For her experts, her son hanged himself with the sleeve of his jacket tied to a window grille, a few centimeters shorter than him. In 2014, the cell where Jorge Reyna was held was remodeled, blocking the possibility of recreating the scene of the event.

Olga and Susana hug again. They know that impunity stems from the same place: the Cosquín Prosecutor’s Office. In both cases, a “psychological autopsy” was carried out to establish the profile of the victim. For six years, the Cosquín Prosecutor’s Office “investigated” based on a single hypothesis: suicide. Despite the fact that the elements of the official expert opinion that appear in the case confirmed blows to the 17-year-old boy produced when he was arrested, his inner circle was investigated and not the last people who saw him alive: the police of Capilla del Mountain.

Image: Juan Mazzeo.
Image: Juan Mazzeo.

The virtual reconstruction of the event

Near sunset, in the courtroom, Álvaro Zaragoza, from the judicial police, from the Interdisciplinary development section, criminal and information technology analysis, projected the virtual reconstruction of the event.

From a video call, the Criminalistics graduate, Silvia Bufalini, made her analysis after seeing the video, who was cited by the co-complaint, from the Human Rights Secretariat, represented by Dr. Battiston.

In the digital recreation of the crime scene, the victim, the alleged perpetrator and the place were reconstructed. At the end of the exhibition, Bufalini explained that “I have just seen a reconstruction that has a dynamic, but the results do not coincide with the tests.”

Some of the characteristics that were exposed by Bufalini have to do with the fact that the perpetrator has no remains of the victim, there is no flora on the accused that belongs to Cecilia’s clothes, nor is there Bustos’ DNA in the swab that was made. of Cecilia’s nails. Therefore, “there is no relationship, a transfer between the victim, the perpetrator and the scene of the crime. There is a description, skills, but there are no elements that prove the link between the two. One could link Bustos like any other person.”

It was around eight o’clock at night, when the hearing was over. “It really seems like a joke,” said Giselle Videla, an attorney advising the lawsuit. “The truth is that I understand that in the cabinets of the judiciary, there are untrained people who are dedicated to seeing how they can invent a mechanism with the evidence that exists. When asked why the body was left for twenty or fifteen days and did not have any marks, they do not know what to answer. Why, if Cecilia was in front of Lucas Bustos, she doesn’t have injuries on the outside of her arm, which would be logical, they can’t answer either. Even the blood on the stone located where the body was found belonged to an animal,” Videla concluded, thus emphasizing the lack of evidence to show that the place where Cecilia appeared lifeless was where the femicide occurred.

The exit

At night, the aguayo is doubled and the candles are extinguished. Daniel and Susana Basaldúa, before returning to San Marcos Sierras, where they have been staying since the trial began, keep it in a box that they put in their truck until the next day. Nine hearings have already passed. Some in the morning, others until night. They hug each other in each intermediate room, which invites them to chat or share with artists who are waiting for them with a mate. “We share the same pain and I know what it feels like,” Olga tells them. Inside were some policemen and files like waterfalls on the furniture. Outside the stairs return to normal. The judges already came out the back. Only the incense remains floating in the humid air, which is already silent in the middle of the night.

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