Things That Matter

One of the 24 Cops Awaiting Trial for Monte Massacre Has Been Killed by His Own Dog

On May 20, 2019, a 22-year-old man named Carlos Aníbal Suárez was driving in his car with four young children, all aged between 13 and 14, in the middle of the night. The car was stopped by police, who allegedly “flashed either a gun or a flashlight,” according to an article in VICE.

Suárez peeled off with the children still in tow. The police opened fire on the vehicle, leading Suárez to crash into a parked trailer, killing all but one of the passengers inside. The only survivor, 13-year-old Rocío Quagliarello, was in intensive care for weeks.

The incident was soon dubbed the “Monte Massacre,” sparking protests throughout San Miguel del Monte, which is about an hour away from Buenos Aires. The protestors called for an investigation into the incident, which was alleged to have been covered up by no less than 24 officers and police personnel.

The cover-up involved a majority of the town’s police force.

In addition to the four officers — Rubén García, Leonardo Ecilape, Manuel Monreal, and Mariano Ibáñez — involved in the shooting, another 20 are alleged to have helped with the cover-up in some form or fashion. “Prosecutors allege that there was no well-founded reason for the three officers to have engaged with the vehicle and carried out the ‘illegitimate aggression’ that led to the teenagers’ death,” says the same VICE article.

But now, one of those officers, a high-ranking official and retired local commissioner named Claudio Martínez, is dead.

Martínez, who is accused of playing a role in the attempted cover-up of the Monte Massacre, was on house arrest when he was attacked by one of his own dogs, a Rottweiler. Martínez was admitted to Hospital de Alta Complejidad de Cañuelas, where he died of injuries related to blood loss.

In her first interview since the Monte Massacre, the lone survivor had this to say about the officers: “What they caused doesn’t have a cure. The only expectation is that [those responsible] serve their sentence for the rest of their lives.”

Although Claudio Martínez will never get his day in court, there are still 23 other officers who will.

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