Buenos Aires Times

argentina DRUG TRAFFICKING

Murdered tourist Laura Hill's case re-opened by Argentina and Great Britain

While travelling with friends who likely had ties to drug trafficking, Hill was found lifeless in San Telmo on October 1, 2007. Years later, her family is still searching for answers.

Thursday 7 March, 2019
The passport of 25-year-old British dental hygienist Laura Hill, who died in San Telmo on October 1, 2007.
The passport of 25-year-old British dental hygienist Laura Hill, who died in San Telmo on October 1, 2007. Foto:Clarín Special Report

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25-year-old British dental hygenist Laura Hill didn’t expect to end up dead when she took off for Buenos Aires in August of 2007. While travelling with friends who likely had ties to drug trafficking, she was found lifeless in San Telmo on October 1, 2007, propped against an elevator with her organs removed.

Years later, her family is still searching for answers. The case was cataloged as a “dubious death” and swept under the rug without a full investigation under the Kirchner administration. But after Clarín published a special report, the case has been re-opened.

After a decade of silence from the government, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich agred to meet with Laura’s mother, Alison Hill, on Thursday in London. The meeting will be the first collaboration between Great Britain and Argentina on a drug trafficking inquiry.

The country’s new administration, with a new approach to corruption by police, has helped the case to re-gain traction, BBC reported.

"It's quite emotional really because now I have people who believe that Laura's death was definitely suspicious,” Hill told reporters last year. "She got herself involved with some very bad people and some very bad stuff, but now she may get the justice she deserves.

A decade of digging

Since her daughter’s passing, Alison Hill, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, has dedicated her life to the work of a "detective mom." She built connections Buenos Aires to investigate the drug rings that caused her daughter’s death.

"I've never given up, because I knew that it was all wrong in the very beginning. We got all the wrong information, Laura's death wasn't investigated, the apartment she was staying in wasn't searched,” Hill explained in an interview last year. "It's a catalogue of everything being wrong, and I wasn't prepared to just accept it."

Laura was found dead on the first floor of Chacabuco Street at 1100 in San Telmo, with her head resting on the elevator. Alison says the body was planted in plain sight, while she likely died elsewhere.

Laura had cocaine in her bloodstream at the time of death, but Alison does not believe it was self-induced. The woman believes that Laura was killed because she refused to transport drugs. East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled her death was "unexplained and suspicious".

Her death was ruled a "pulmonary edema and cocaine overdose.” But Hill’s mother thinks she was killed by a forced overdose when she refused to carry a shipment of druges for the Colombian drug ring Angelmiro Cáceres García, often called "El Mago" or "Tabla,” who had ties to a gang in London.

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