They remove Judge Lleral and appoint Federico Calvete in the case for the death of Santiago Maldonado

In another twist for the case of the death of Santiago Maldonado, the judge of Esquel, Gustavo Lleral, was removed and the investigation was handed over to the judge of Ushuaia, Federico Calvete. It was following a request from the plaintiffs after a ruling that acquitted the defendants.

10 de May de 2024 17:55

The Federal Chamber considered "unjustified" the "reluctance that the investigating magistrate (Lleral) has shown in the task of exhausting the alternative (hypotheses)."

The Federal Chamber of Comodoro Rivadavía removed Judge Guillermo Gustavo Lleral from the case investigating the death of Santiago Maldonadon during a social protest repressed by the Gendarmerie on August 1, 2017. Dr. Federico H. Calvete , magistrate of the province, was appointed from Tierra del Fuego , as deputy in charge of the investigation.

The complainants had requested the revocation of Lleral on the grounds that he did not analyze in depth all the hypotheses of death and now the Chamber resolved along the same lines.

Furthermore, in the Notification Card of the Judicial Branch of the Nation , the magistrate is recommended to “assume the direction of this investigation, to adopt maximum diligence and haste in the production of the evidentiary measures proposed here , as well as all those that he deems pertinent, for the purposes of seeking significant procedural progress in a short time, arbitrating all those means and resources that are necessary for such purposes.”

From the complaint they received this news with “immense joy.” They pointed out that “they have just notified us that in the Santiago Maldonado case they revoked the dismissal of the accused, removed Judge Lleral (they appointed Calvete, federal judge of Ushuaia) and ordered the production of the pending evidence, exactly everything that we had requested in our status as plaintiffs for the CPM and the APDH.”

“The Chamber judges issued a fair ruling that opens the possibility of justice for Santiago,” the complainants indicated. "We must notify the Minister of Security Patio Bullrich, who got tired of saying that the gendarmes had been acquitted and that we were ill-intentioned."

Prior to this measure, the acting Federal Judge of Esquel, Gustavo Lleral, had signed the total and definitive dismissal of Emmanuel Echazú, Juan Pablo María Escola, Víctor Vaquila Ocampo and Marcelo Iván Ferreyra , for the death of Santiago Maldonado during a social demonstration on August 1, 2017, in the property occupied by the community called “PuLof-Resistencia Cushamen”, in the vicinity of Km. 1848 of National Route No. 40.

After Lleral's last sentence, the plaintiffs claimed that "it cannot be affirmed - with the degree of certainty that a statement of this type requires - that the death of Santiago Maldonado had not been the result of criminal conduct", therefore “They urged resuming the investigation.”

As explained by the Federal Chamber, “the unjustified reluctance that the investigating magistrate has shown in the task of exhausting the alternatives that were at his disposal to clear up the questions that persist, allowing a very long period of time to pass - which such measures would not have required - is sufficiently demonstrative that you already have a position taken about how the events happened; and this is incompatible with the attitude and open-mindedness that must be adopted by someone in charge of the investigation of an illegal act of these characteristics.”

Among the arguments for referring the case to the judge of Río Grande, Federico Calvete , the judges of the Supreme Court mention the proximity with the Judicial Branch in Río Gallegos and the “vast experience (of Calvete) as a Federal Judge, and in matters of a nature penal".

Likewise, it is added that "in the same Ushuaia Court, another member of the list of co-judges serves - Dr. Laura Ubertazzi - who may alternate and collaborate during the initial period of transition and delegation of functions that is hereby provided. , in order to avoid procedural inactivity, overloading of tasks or delays in the processing of Files.”


By Agenda Malvinas


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