Argentine president and Michelle Obama take a personal interest in the Marita Veron case
President Cristina Fernandez and First Lady Michelle Obama have expressed a personal interest in the case of forced prostitution of a young woman and acquittal of all suspects, which has shocked Argentina.
A day after all 13 defendants in the trial for the disappearance of Marita Verón in 2002 were acquitted of all charges, Susana Trimarco – Verón’s mother- told reporters that President Cristina Fernández called her and said she couldn't believe the court's decision.
“I was surprised when Cristina called me last night and told me to meet with her to talk about this,” Trimarco said. “I love her, leaving politics aside, she has always supported me; she couldn’t believe what the judges decided”.
She added that US ambassador Vilma Martinez had contacted her to tell her “First Lady Michelle Obama wants to meet me and gave me her full support in this fight”.
The mother of the young woman -who was just 23 years old when she went missing- ensured that her quest for justice was “not over” and that she would “not be silenced.”
“What happened yesterday was a total disgrace, the decision is total and utter fraud,” Trimarco told reporters. “This just shows you the level of justice in Tucumán province,” she furthered.
Regarding the alleged absence of evidence presented in the trail she said “what else to you want: you have the testimony of all the girls that suffered the aberrations of these scoundrels”.
“The judges respond to the political establishment because they name them. The three are a bunch of crooks, but the same way the people put them there, the people will have them out”, anticipated Trimarco.
Trimarco’s search for her daughter has spanned for longer than ten years, leading her to be nominated for the next Nobel Peace Prize as well as receiving recognition by the president at the Human Right’s day event last Sunday.
Trimarco said she met with Tucuman Governor Jose Alperovich who was shocked with what happened in court and “I asked him for better training for the police so that they get out of their heads that all women are whores”.
“All the Tucuman brothels are working, and with police protection” Trimarco told Governor Alperovich.
José D’Antona, plaintiff attorney in the Marita Verón case, said the president of the court Alberto Piedrabuena, who acquitted all 13 defendants of all charges for the disappearance of the young woman, made a “totally weak, feeble and permissive” decision.
In statements to a television station, D’Antona assured that the court “allowed the subjugation of the victims.”
The comments come a day after a Tucumán province court concluded all suspects in the case be cleared of all charges in the case investigating Verón’s disappearance.
Marita Verón was kidnapped and allegedly forced into prostitution on April 3, 2002 and her mother has been searching for her ever since.
The reading of the sentence began after 9 pm, four hours later than originally expected. After alleged discussions between the judges Alberto Piedrabuena, Emilio Herrera Molina and Eduardo Romero Lascano, the court decided to clear the suspects of all charges.
The decision caused an outrage among family members, human rights organizations and victims of human trafficking, who began insulting the judges as soon as the reading of the ruling was finished.
Attorneys who worked alongside Verón’s mother, Susana Trimarco, called the ruling “an act of corruption”.
The trial began 11 months ago and more than a decade after Marita’s disappearance.
The case was seen as “emblematic”, since the prosecutor had requested a 25 years sentence for the main suspects Víctor Romero, María Jesús Rivero, Irma Lidia Medina, Gonzalo and José “Chenga” Gómez.