“Not even the worst of the criminal is foreign to me. And if I recognize it in the landscape, I recognize it in myself. So it is that I want to overcome that which in me and in every man, struggles to suppress life. I want to overcome the abyss!” (Silo, The Internal Landscape)

For some unconfessable reason in Argentina, we went from collective euphoria and from feeling better people and better neighbors after the World Cup crusade to looking at ourselves with suspicion again, feeling surrounded by jackals and immersed in a swamp of injustice, slander and revenge.

In Argentina we are all awaiting a trial and I asked myself why I wanted the highest possible sentence and that all the accused pay it in the trial that will condemn a few of the 8 young people who participated in the events that ended the life of Fernando Baez Sosa in Villa Gesell.

I decided to do it stripping myself as much as possible of the self-censorship and the embarrassments that accompany this kind of events of public character and collective indignation.

First thoughts, it will be a crime that will not go unpunished, which in itself is a relief. It is true that only three years have passed since the murder. Among other reasons, the delay was due to the pandemic, while the accused awaited trial in a cell. The media show the images ad nauseam and the criminal and legal analyses overwhelm us with details and punctuations that stir our guts.

It is very easy to stick to the victim, a good kid selected by a violent mob capable of killing, eager to kill. It was Fernando, but it could have been anyone: a delivery boy on a motorcycle, a less skilled bouncer in some summer nightclub, another less good kid, another little punk with a taste for the camorra. But it was Fernando and the murder was intentional. That facilitates the emotional attachment.

I have a strong rejection towards those who go out to commit this kind of attack. Stronger when they are mob attacks and even more when the violence is indiscriminate. Or, rather, looking for vulnerable victims or hate crimes. A phenomenon that is nothing new and with very disparate fates before the justice system.

Exchanging on the subject, debating, discussing on this issue, I have tried to put myself in different places. Because the censorious attitude appears very easy: to criticize the doormen of the discotheque who delivered Fernando to a sure beating; the witnesses who did not manage to protect the weakest; the parents of these monsters; the parents of Fernando’s friends; the parents of the witnesses who did not react; those who went through the formation of all these characters of the story: teachers, catechists, relatives, coaches, friends, colleagues at work, at school, at the club, neighbors. Suddenly I realized that this fact is part of that fabric, of those networks that intertwine, that overlap.

There had to be a pack of jackals, there had to be a victim, there had to be witnesses, there had to be facilitators, there had to be state security, health, prevention and educational bodies that arrived late to everything, that did not see it coming, that were functional to the outcome. Which, I insist, is not new.

In all the positions I was able to elaborate, I also found multiple responses. How easy it is for some people to reach conclusions; how easy it is to schematize behavior patterns and moralize from a keyboard!

As you will see, thinking about Fernando’s murderers and about Fernando, I cannot isolate it from the human behaviors that preceded me, that accompany me and that will be in my future. It is inseparable. In the same way that nothing can be extracted from its context.

The elaboration of these contexts is also multiple, so I prefer not to go into specific details that would lend themselves to misinterpretation. But I do want to sketch a few lines about the context in which all this is happening today, January 8, 2023 in Argentina. Because the fact that there is so much media coverage of the matter, that we are all so much concerned about what happens in the court of Dolores, is part of a contextual framework that deserves attention, at least for me.

We want justice because we are disgusted with the prevailing impunity. Here, there and everywhere. Because we can look at the Middle East, North America or wherever we can think of and if there is something that upsets us it is the lack of justice everywhere. And, to make matters worse, the pornography with which crimes are committed with impunity left and right.

But not to beat around the bush, it will depend on our political positioning which impunity eats our liver. There will be those of us who cannot believe that Macri and his henchmen move so freely around the world having organized the largest illegal espionage network in Argentine history, among many other crimes, and there are those who are still convinced that Patagonia has an armored basement full of gold bars stolen by the Kirchners. For that matter, it doesn’t matter, because we have our livers eaten by indignation.

And it is fair enough, because the justice system is one of the most broken things we can admire these days. It is enough to see the constant fiddling around the Argentine Supreme Court as a clear demonstration of the amorality and shamelessness of those who manage the administration of justice in Argentina. And in the face of this impunity we want justice. We want revenge, in a way, but a just revenge, let’s say everything.

In that sense, this trial has become a national cause in which those already found guilty should not escape the hammer of justice and should not only be beaten for what has been done, but also so that indignation does not continue to eat our livers. The mood of millions of Argentines trapped in the dispute of public opinion depends on this.

It is true that the World Cup was a beautiful eclipse that gave us air, while we continue holding our breath in this background of uneasiness and litany of injustices in which we live.

Trying to reach a conclusion to all this, I glimpse a sort of “if they got caught, let them get what they deserve”. A sister thought to the lynching of the one who stole a cell phone and that “since we caught him, let’s give him so he can have it”.

One last thought that I did not want to leave out of this is that these 8 rugby players do not represent any caste. If not, they would not have been in custody for three years, let’s not fool ourselves. If they had really been sons of Patrones, if they were part of the families entangled in impunity, they would not be now in the dock. Possibly, the families of these 8 boys may have believed that they were already part of that elite, because they had some contacts, lived the sweetness of other impunities and may have been fooled, believing that this would never happen to them. Cobwebs are solid, they resist almost everything, but they also break.