“He ruined our family for life”

Robert Collins

Global Courant

It was during a rite of passage in the Army. There are nine soldiers prosecuted without pretrial detention for “culpable homicide.”

One year after the death of artillery second lieutenant Matías Chirino (22), during a ritual to initiate his military career in a Corrientes barracks, the family hopes that the Federal Court of Appeals will decide whether the case will be judged as an accidental act or aggravated homicide.

The officer’s father, Ezequiel Chirino (53), used his social networks to externalize the pain he is going through with his wife and Matías’ sister. He did not hesitate to describe the nine officers involved in the incident as “sadists” and maintained: “He ruined our family for life.”

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“One year ago today my son unfairly and tragically went to heaven. He died because the system had naturalized that sadistic misfits could make an abusive use of military command power,” said Ezequiel, who had accompanied his son to the Monte 3 Artillery Group, in Paso de los Libres, his first destination after graduated from the Military College.

He recalled that that night, on the eve of Father’s Day, “they forced him to drink on an empty stomach, they ordered him to make brisk movements and jump into a pool on a freezing winter night. And then they left him lying on the floor, unconscious and without a coat. He died… he dies every day, ”he said, pierced by grief.

“Her mother can’t bear the internal tearing she feels every morning when she wakes up, her sister keeps waiting senselessly for her to stroke her hair again. And I keep fighting so that other national officials (judges and judicial employees) stop beating Matías’ story and making fun of our pain. They try, I don’t know why, to minimize what happened and thus prevent his departure from being a before and after, ”added Chirino.

“On a day like today, June 19, I received the news that my son Matías was dead in the Monte Unit 3, in the officers’ casino,” he recalled.

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Cut short life. Chirino died in an initiation ritual of his life in an Army barracks, in Paso de los Libres.

Ezequiel was in a hotel in Paso de los Libres because on Monday, June 20, Matías would formally start his career as an Army artillery officer. That morning, a phone call changed the Chirino family forever.

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Matías died at dawn on June 19 of last year in one of the rooms of the Officers’ Casino of the Monte 3 Artillery Group after being forced to get into a freezing point pool, drink abundantly against his will and perform live exercises ordered by his superiors.

As a result of ingesting alcohol and having been laid face up on a mattress lying on the floor, the Cordovan soldier suffered a bronchial aspiration and died.

Chirino and two other second lieutenants had had to pay for the barbecue that night, wine, beer, whiskey, fernet, and cigarettes for the senior officers, as a welcome ritual. A ritual that had a tragic ending.

Nine months later, the federal judge of Paso de los Libres, Gustavo Fresneda, prosecuted nine soldiers without preventive detention.

Ezequiel Chirino (53), with a photo of his son Matías (22), the Army second lieutenant who died during an initiation ritual.

For the magistrate, the captains Claudio Andrés Luna (35), Rubén Darío Ruiz (35) and Hugo Reclus Martínez Tarraga (34); Lieutenants Darío Emmanuel Martínez (31), Exequiel Emmanuel Aguilar (31) and Franco Damián Grupico (26); and second lieutenants Facundo Luis Acosta (26), Gerardo Sebastián Bautista (31) and Claudia Daniela Cayata (34) committed the crime of “culpable homicide”, that is, committed without intention.

“At no time is it noted that none of the defendants had the intention or intention of ending the life of Chirino, (Jorge) Chaile or (Rufino) Meza (NdR: the other two soldiers), nor did they represent the possibility of his death,” he argued.

That resolution was appealed by the family of the dead officer and also by the federal prosecutor Fabián Martínez last March, but the Federal Chamber of Corrientes will only hear the arguments of the parties in September.



“He ruined our family for life”

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