the trial for the death of the spy comes to an end

Robert Collins
Robert Collins

Global Courant 2023-05-08 14:01:29

“Aggravated homicide”, “homicide in excess of self-defense”, “self-defense”. Thus, from highest to lowest, are the options that the Federal Oral Court No. 5 of San Martín will have this Tuesday when it comes to resolving the fate of the two policemen from the Halcón group, of the Buenos Aires Police, prosecuted for killing the spy of the SIDE Pedro “El Lauchón” Viale (59).

Jaime Stiuso’s right-hand man, Viale was shot to death at his home in La Reja -Moreno district- 10 years ago, on July 9, 2013. It was during a dawn raid ordered by the federal court in a case on which there were always suspicions that she was armed.

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Marks on the wall from the shots during the raid in which “Lauchón” Viale was killed. Photo File / Diego Waldmann

The hypothesis of the family lawyers – the most interesting theory – is that the Buenos Aires woman put together a file to be able to enter Viale’s to kill him. They maintain that all this responded to an inmate and was orchestrated to settle an old dispute between Stiuso and Commissioner Hugo Matzkin, then chief of the Province Police.

The most conspiratorial version of this hypothesis is that the policemen went with the express order to kill “Lauchón”. The lightest affirms that there was an indirect intention, that the operation was armed in such a way that there was no other possible end.

But little of that was discussed at trial.

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Viale was Stiuso’s right-hand man and ended up with 11 bullets to the body.

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The “spicy” witnesses proposed along these lines by Santiago Blanco Bermúdez – representative of the widow – were not finally accepted by judges Nada Flores Vega, Hector Sagretti and Maria Claudia Morgese Marin. On the list was Stiuso himself, former governor Daniel Scioli, Matzkin and a large group of former SIDE spies.

Trying to keep a much lower profile, the court decided to stick to what happened that morning of July 9, 2013 and the role played by police officers Gustavo Ernesto Martínez (46) and Pedro Nelson Alegre (36). It must be clarified that only two of the 10 police officers involved in the operation came to trial because they were the ones that the ballistic tests indicated as the material authors.

CLAIMA20151125_0055 Former SIDE agent Pedro “Lauchón” Viale.

Viale, an experienced spy who reported directly to Stiuso, ended up with 11 bullets to the body: one to the face, six to the chest, three to the left arm and one to the right hip. He died in his own bathroom while his wife tried to take refuge in the matrimonial room.

In total, 10 police officers were prosecuted in the case, including commissioners José Armando Tsuruoka, Enrique Roberto Maldonado and Hugo Orlando Fasone, who led the operation. But in 2015 the Chamber dictated “lack of merit.” That is why only Martínez and Alegre are on the bench.

Jaime Stiuso, former Director of Operations at SIDE.

The oral trial that ends on Tuesday was quick and the arguments stage was concluded last week. Viale’s family lawyers requested life imprisonment for both police officers for the crime of “aggravated homicide.” Both the prosecution, headed by Carlos Cerras, and the complaint filed by the former SIDE -current Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI)- opted for a more lenient figure: “homicide in excess of legitimate defense” which has a criminal scale equal to that of “culpable homicide”, 1 of 5 years.

In this case, the prosecutor requested 4 and a half years in prison for Martínez and three years and 8 months for Alegre. Both are effective compliance (once the ruling is signed) but with what the policemen were imprisoned at the beginning of the investigation they would not return to jail. As for the defenses, they went directly for the acquittal by legitimate defense.

The case

The trial for the crime of Pedro “El Lauchón” Viale began on March 21 in the hearing room of the Federal Oral Court No. 5 of San Martín and included a visual inspection of the house where everything happened, a place that the family did not He has lived for a decade.

That morning of a national holiday, the federal judge of Tres de Febrero Juan Manuel Culotta had ordered 18 raids in the framework of a drug trafficking case. Wiretaps taken from a Buenos Aires policeman led to Viale, but in a rather confusing way. According to the official version, from then on his house in La Reja, Moreno’s district, entered the list of places to search and, his name, in the arrest warrants.

Culotta did not specifically order the Grupo Halcón to go, that was decided by the Illicit Drug Investigations Superintendence under Commissioner Tsuruoka, a man of extreme confidence of the then head of the Buenos Aires, Hugo Matzkin.

It is in this decision to send the specialized group at dawn and in the very origin of the Culotta cause, where the spy’s family bases itself to maintain that everything, from minute one, was armed to assassinate him.

The short version: Viale was chosen by the leadership of the Buenos Aires Province Police to send a message to Stiuso, in revenge for the help given by SIDE to the Federal Police to arrest drug trafficker Miguel Ángel “Mameluco” Villalba in August 2011, whom they wanted as their own prey. Perhaps that is why the complaint requested the declaration in the trial of several heads of Dangerous Drugs of the Federal of that time.

Miguel Ángel “Mameluco” Villalba, convicted of leading a drug gang in San Martín.

“It is so evident that it was a settling of scores that even AFI itself decided to assume the role of complainant in this process on the understanding that it was not a mere procedural error but rather a direct attack on a agent”, says the document by which Blanco Bermúdez and his partner Julián Subías requested at the time the elevation of part of the file to trial.

Ultimately the AFI did not side with the family.

Whatever the verdict on Tuesday, one thing is clear: it seems increasingly difficult to know exactly what happened the morning that “Lauchón” was killed.



the trial for the death of the spy comes to an end

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