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ARGENTINA | 26-02-2020 17:28

Survivor of Santa Cruz attack returns home; two suspects in custody

Survivor of the brutal attack in Puerto Deseado, María Mercedes, returned home to Salta. Investigation into her rape and the murder of her four-year-old son continues.

María Mercedes, the survivor of the rape that occurred last Thursday in Puerto Desmeado and mother of the four-year-old boy murdered in the attack, returned to her home in Salta on Tuesday. 

A week after the horrific crime, Mercedes returned home with her husband, Celso Subelza, and three children where she was greeted by the Governor of Salta Province, Gustavo Sáenz. 

Other members of the government were present to welcome Mercedes home: Provincial Security Minister Juan Manuel Pulleiro, the Coordinator of Liaison and Political Relations of the Governance Pablo Outes, and the Secretary of Human Rights Mariana Reyes.

In Puerto Desmeado, two suspects have been detained in relation to the rape and murder and remain in custody: a 33-year-old man who suffers from schizophrenia and a 16-year-old boy. 

‘If he did it, he pays’

The father of the teenager — who was identified by the survivor in a police line-up — said today that "if he did it, he pays," referring to the responsibility of his son.

"I was in the mine working. When I heard about the raids, I asked to go down," said Julio, the teenager’s father, in comments reported by Noticas Argentinas.

He also said that his family has been the victim of threats and attacks since the news that linked his son to the crime.

"I want you to stop threatening my son, my lady, my grandson. I am not a bad person," said the man in dialogue with the FM Dimension radio station.

He added: "I didn't teach my son to steal or hurt people; if he did, let him pay. I work and I'm honest, I don't want to live with my head down for what he did, if it did it."

The minor, according to the local press, admitted to having been at the scene but said he did not kill the child, nor did he abuse the woman.

In addition, the teenager said he was threatened by Omar Alvarado, the other accused, who told him that he was going to kill some of his brothers if he told anyone anything about what happened.

Meanwhile, Rosalía, Alvarado's sister, said she recognised the teenager when she saw the identikit. 

Noticias Argentinas reported that the 16-year-old will be sent to a juvenile detention centre in the city of Río Gallegos, where he will remain as the investigation proceeds.

In addition, after the minor's confession, Santa Cruz Police personnel found the woman's mobile phone among the rocks, near the beach where the incident occurred.

– TIMES/NA

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