Things That Matter

A City Is On Edge After One Of The World’s Most Wanted Men Escapes From A Prison In Central Uruguay

An Italian mafia boss known as the “cocaine king of Milan” has escaped from prison in Uruguay where he was awaiting extradition to Italy. He made a brazen escape from a prison located in the heart of Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city.

Italian mob boss Rocco Morabito, known as the “Cocaine King of Milan,” escaped from an Uruguayan prison while awaiting extradition to Italy.

A manhunt was underway on Tuesday after an Italian mafia boss led a brazen jailbreak in the center of Uruguay’s capital, infuriating the Italian government that awaited his extradition.

Morabito – dubbed ‘the king of cocaine’ – was one of Italy’s most-wanted men and had been on the run for 23 years.

They made a daring escape through the detention center’s rooftop.

Credit: @USATODAY / Twitter

Rocco Morabito, 52, and three other inmates “escaped through a hole in the roof” of a police detention center in downtown Montevideo late on Sunday, before breaking into a neighboring apartment and exiting onto the street, Uruguay’s interior ministry said in a statement.

Elida Ituarte, a 70-year-old woman who lives in a fifth-floor apartment next to the jail, told AFP news agency she was startled to see four men in her living room at midnight on Sunday.

“What are you doing? Who are you?” she said she shouted. The oldest of the four, apparently Morabito, told her the caretaker had called them to fix a leaking pipe.

“I left the window open. As I live next to the prison, I felt safe and secure,” she said.

When Ituarte found the keys to let them out, the four men ran down the stairs and onto the street.

The jail is known as Montevideo’s Central Prison and is located on a busy street surrounded by apartments, restaurants, and shops.

The Italian government is not happy about the news.

Credit: @MercoPressNews / Twitter

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini reacted angrily to the “disconcerting and serious” news.

“I make two commitments: first to shed full light on how he escaped, asking for an immediate explanation from the Montevideo government. Then we will continue the hunt for Morabito, wherever he is,” Salvini said.

It seems that Morabito had been living in Uruguay for quite a while before his capture.

Morabito, who obtained Uruguayan papers after presenting a false Brazilian passport in the name of Francisco Capeletto, is thought to have arrived in Uruguay in 2002, where he bought a luxurious villa in the southern coastal resort of Punta del Este.

A search of his properties uncovered 13 mobile phones, 12 bank cards, two cars, 150 passport-sized photos of him in various disguises plus a Portuguese passport, a number of jewels, about $50,000 in cash and a 9mm pistol.

Italian authorities blamed the escape on the long wait for extradition.

“It’s bad news,’’ said Nicola Gratteri, the anti-mafia chief prosecutor in the Italian city of Catanzaro. “Things like this can surely happen everywhere. The problem is that this is another side-effect of the long waiting times for the extraditions. It’s time for politicians to discuss new agreements with the South American countries, like the ones the authorities struck with Colombia a few years ago, that means criminals could now be extradited within 48 hours.’’

Morabito has spent nearly two and a half years in jail awaiting the formal extradition request by Italy. He had tried in various ways to evade extradition to Italy and had often insulted the judge at a recent hearing to try to get the proceedings suspended.

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Are The Women Fighting To Find The Stolen Children During The Argentine Dictatorship

Things That Matter

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Are The Women Fighting To Find The Stolen Children During The Argentine Dictatorship

Sundance Institute

During the 1970s a group of desperate Argentinian mothers began protesting government officials and holding them accountable for the human rights violations that had been committed in the military junta  known as the Dirty War. The determined women violated the government’s law against mass assembly and risked the ire of Argentina’s military dictatorship to expose the government’s human rights violations. The biggest part of their fight however had been to expose the kidnapping of over 30,000 individuals known today as “Desaparecidos” or “the disappeared.”

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (or, the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo) is a movement of Argentine mothers who campaigned to find out what happened to their children who had “disappeared” during the 1976 government takeover.

The mothers’ tragic stories began in 1976. At the time the Argentine military had toppled the presidency of Isabel Perón. According to History.com, “it was part of a larger series of political coups called Operation Condor, a campaign sponsored and supported by the United States.” The new military dictatorship resulted in the Dirty War, which was ultimately a fight against the Argentinian people. It opened doors to a period of state-sponsored torture and terrorism and saw the government turn against Argentina’s citizens, targeting those suspected of being aligned with leftist, socialist or social justice. As part of the rule of terror, the government kidnapped and killed an estimated 30,000 people. They also made great efforts to cover up the dead and missing people.

But the family members and friends of the missing victims fought for the truth.

The mothers and relatives of people who went missing during the war searched for their loved ones and began to stage protests at the Plaza de Mayo in the 1980s. 

According to History.com “Some of the mothers of the disappeared were grandmothers who had seen their daughters whisked away and presumably killed and their grandchildren given away to other families. Even after the Dirty War ended in 1983, the Grandmothers of the Plaza Mayo have searched for answers and worked to identify children who grew up without any knowledge of their true parents.”

Today the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have verified the identities of 128 stolen children, thanks to DNA identification techniques but the fight of these mothers and grandmothers lives on. Sadly, thousands of Argentinian children remain missing.

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is a 1985 Argentine documentary film that highlights the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

At the time of its release, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and in 2013, received an update on “Abuelas: Grandmothers on a Mission” which highlights the work of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.

The Police’s Reaction To The Black Lives Matter Protests For George Floyd Vs. Anti-Quarantine Demonstrators Says A Lot

Things That Matter

The Police’s Reaction To The Black Lives Matter Protests For George Floyd Vs. Anti-Quarantine Demonstrators Says A Lot

Stephen Maturen / Stringer

Derek Chauvin (a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department) pinned George Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck for seven minutes.

For the first three minutes of being restrained Floyd (a 46-year-old Black man) pled for his life begging Chauvin to remove his knee because he couldn’t breathe. After four minutes Floyd stopped moving, and bystanders capturing video of the request determined that he was unresponsive. The aftermath of his death after sparked explosive protests and reminders, yet again, that Black people are not safe in this country and continue to. be subjected to inequality.

On Tuesday morning, video of the incident that took place on a sidewalk in Minneapolis surfaced online fueling anger and protests.

There’s so much in the video that is distressing, but hearing Floyd begging the officer to let up and repeating “I can’t breathe” is only a small part that has once fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. After all, we’ve heard those words before. In 2014, Eric Garner, uttered the same ones while dying under police brutality in New York.

At the time of his death, Floyd had been facing arrest. The officers involved in the incident had been called to the scene due to a “forgery in progress” in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Note, forgery while a serious crime is a non-violent one.

Darnella Frazier is the woman who captured the video on her phone and posted the footage on Facebook for the world to see.

On Tuesday, May 26, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that the officers involved had been placed on leave. Later on in the day, four responding officers were fired and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the incident was being reviewed.

Reactions to the protests show another glaring reminder of the treatment of Black people in the United States vs. white.

Reactions to anti-mask protests and demonstrations against government stay-at-home orders in the past few weeks have been met with stoic reactions.

You’ve seen the images. In the face of demonstrators furious about the safety restrictions implemented to combat COVID-19, police officers and government officials have responded primarily with nonviolence. We’ve seen no stun grenades or tear gas.

But the crowds of Black protestors rallying for “Justice for George” have been met with riot gear and chemical agents. According to reports around 8:00 pm of the protests police in riot gear fired sandbag rounds, rubber bullets, and pepper spray.

Once again, Black people are being forced to fight for their lives while non-Black people of color get off easy while saying or doing little from the sidelines.