Two days after being arrested based on the statement of a repentant witness, the police officer identified as the one who planted the weapon in the car in which Lucas González (17) was traveling denied having participated in the cover-up of the young man’s crime in November 2021. Officer Facundo Matías Torres assured that he went to his personal locker at the police station, but pointed out that he took tape to preserve the crime scene.
This was the case this Monday in the investigative statement before Judge Vanesa Peluffo, in charge of Criminal and Correctional Court 7, and prosecutor Leonel Gómez Barbella. In addition, the policeman said that there are no witnesses who can verify his version and expressed that his arrest is due to “political” reasons.
Torres had been captured on Saturday at his home in Llavallol, after the principal of the 4D Commune Héctor Claudio Cuevas (50) pointed him out as the one who planted the weapon to simulate a shooting in the episode in which González was shot to death in 2021 in Barracks.
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According to Cuevas’ statement as repentant, Torres received the order from Deputy Commissioner Roberto Orlando Inca (47): “Go put that up.” Then, the defendant approached the back of the Volkswagen Suran – in which Lucas, Julián Salas (19), Joaquín Zuñiga (19) and Niven Huanca (19) were – and “throws away the weapon.”
This Monday afternoon, Torres denied that version. He said that he went to the 4D Neighborhood Police Station with Gabriel Alejandro Issasi (41), one of the three policemen accused of Lucas’ crime, to look for tape to preserve the scene.
The car in which Lucas González was traveling with his friends at the time of the crime in Barracas.
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Torres is accused of being a co-perpetrator of the crimes of “ideological falsehood, illegal deprivation of liberty aggravated by functional abuse and without provision of law, cover-up aggravated by the status of public official and because the predicate crime is especially serious, and imposition of torture” to the detriment of Lucas’s three friends.
Crime of Lucas González: the detail of the statement of the police officer accused of planting the weapon
The policeman was transferred this Monday morning to the Buenos Aires Courts and investigated around 1:00 p.m. He admitted that on November 17, 2021, he moved with Issasi to the police headquarters in Barracas. Once there, while Issasi was waiting for him in the street, he went to his personal locker to look for tape to preserve the scene of the incident.
Thus, he rejected the accusation that he went to remove the weapon that was later planted on the victims.
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When asked by the prosecutor if this version could be corroborated by a witness, the defendant said that no one had seen him and then added that, in his opinion, his detention was due to political issues and that in the case “there are many innocent policemen arrested”.
After the investigation, the police officer’s defense requested his release, although it is presumed that the request will be rejected by the prosecution, which will request that he remain in pretrial detention.
Lucas Gonzalez, the inferior player of Barracas Central who was murdered in November 2021.
Torres was involved in the case last Thursday by Cuevas, arrested and put on trial for covering up Lucas’s crime, who, when asking to testify before the Oral Criminal Court (TOC) 25, pointed him out as one of the policemen who helped planting the weapon in the car the boys were in in order to simulate a confrontation with alleged criminals.
According to Cuevas’ statement, that day Torres arrived at the crime scene on a motorcycle and collaborated with officer Issasi, one of the three police officers accused of Lucas’s murder, in the cover-up maneuver.
Always according to his story, Issasi was the one who “throws the weapon” in the back of the vehicle, after another of the police officers on trial, Deputy Commissioner Roberto Orlando Inca (47), told him “go put that on.”
Then, Cuevas said, the same person walked up to the rear of the Suran and dropped the gun.
Geolocation reports of Torres’s motorcycle and cell phone, provided by the City Police Transparency Office, showed that he actually traveled through the area where the crime took place and also went to and from the Neighborhood Police Station. 4D, where it is believed that he may have seized the replica gun that was later planted.
Likewise, a security camera recorded the passage of a City Police motorcycle, which would be driven by Torres, and whose companion is Issasi, which can be corroborated by the clothing he was wearing on the day of the crime.
The trial will continue this Tuesday, when it is expected that, as several defenders have advanced, other accused police officers will testify.
In addition to Issasi, the debate was charged with the murder of Lucas and the attempted murder of his friends, the senior officer Fabián Andrés López (48) and the officer Juan José Nieva (37).
How was the crime of Lucas González
The crime of the player from the lower divisions of the Barracas Central club was committed on November 17, 2021 when he was with his friends aboard a Volkswagen Suran that was intercepted in Iriarte and Vélez Sarsfield by a Nissan Tiida in which three police officers were driving. from Brigade 6 of Comuna 4 of the City Police who signaled to them to stop.
Since they did not have police identification, the boys thought they might be thieves and tried to escape, at which point the officers fired at them and a bullet hit Lucas in the head, who died the next day at the El Cruce de Florencio Varela hospital.
According to the investigation, after shooting at the young people, the police officers tried to pretend that it had been a confrontation with criminals, a maneuver to which other officers would have joined, who “planted” a weapon in the victims’ car.
Reconstruction of the crime of Lucas González in Barracas, weeks after the case. Photo Luciano Thieberger
The three members of the Justice Brigade are awarded co-authorship of the crime of “aggravated homicide for having been committed with treachery, for pleasure, for racial hatred, for the premeditated collaboration of two or more people and for being committed abusing their function or charge by a member of a police force”.
In addition, they face charges for “attempted aggravated homicide, ideological falsehood and illegal deprivation of liberty aggravated by functional abuse and without provision of law”, in the case of Lucas’s friends.
Meanwhile, another 11 police officers from the City, also detained, are being tried for covering up Lucas’s crime and the torture to which the other boys were subjected.
They are the commissioner inspector of the Neighborhood Communal Department 4 Daniel Alberto Santana (50); the commissioner of the Neighborhood Commune 4A, Rodolfo Alejandro Ozán (54); the commissioner of the 4D Neighborhood Police Station, Fabián Alberto Du Santos (51); Comuna 4D commissioner Ramón Jesús Chocobar (48) and commissioner Juan Horacio Romero (51) and deputy commissioner Inca, both from the Summaries and Brigades Division of Comuna 4.
Chief Cuevas and officers of the 4D Neighborhood Police Station Sebastian Jorge Baidon, 28, Jonathan Alexis Martinez, 34, Angel Darius Arevalos, 34, and Daniel Ruben Espinosa, 33, are also on trial.