The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What Happened to Lucia Perez?

Posted on | October 20, 2016 | Comments Off on What Happened to Lucia Perez?

“She had been subjected to brutal, inhumane sexual abuse. The girl was impaled and this was the cause of her death.”
Maria Isabel Sanchez, prosecutor

This headline at Memeorandum caught my eye Wednesday:

Argentina: hundreds of thousands of women
set to protest against violence

A brief summary from New York magazine:

The so-called “women’s strike” — also known as Black Wednesday — is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of women in Argentina . . . “In your office, school, hospital, law court, newsroom, shop, factory, or wherever you are working, stop for an hour to demand ‘no more machista violence,’” the strike’s organizers wrote.
The strike was organized after Lucía Pérez was drugged, raped, and tortured earlier in October in Mar del Plata, Argentina. . . . Three people have already been arrested in the case, and Pérez’s family has been receiving death threats.
Crimes against women in Argentina have increased 78 percent since 2008, according to government statistics. The attack against Pérez was just one of the latest instances of “femicide” in the country.

From the progressive site Common Dreams:

Since 2008, according to NGOs, 1,808 women have been violently killed in the country. Indeed, an additional three Argentinian women were killed just last week.
Wednesday’s action . . . is in response to that violence and what one author described as “a boundless abandonment” of Argentinian women by the state.

The adjective machista is obviously derived from macho, and in this context could be considered synonymous with “sexist” or “misogynist.” You might conclude, from this rhetoric, that the increasing violence against women in Argentina is some sort of anti-feminist backlash, and that Lucia Perez’s death was typical of this social problem.

Well, facts matter.

We have seen how “Black Lives Matter” protesters here in America have reacted to incidents like the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, fomenting racial violence on the basis of distorted accounts, exploiting hatred and ignorance to promote a divisive political agenda. And so I am concerned by how this crime — the murder of a 16-year-old girl — apparently is being exploited by feminists in Argentina.

Facts matter, and the facts about the death of Lucia Perez may contain valuable lessons, but an indictment of machismo is not one of them.

The story of Lucia Perez is the tale of a teenage girl who wanted drugs, and met a drug dealer who was — surprise! — a dangerous monster. Piecing together the full story of Lucia Perez’s death required me to read multiple stories in the Argentine press, read with Google Translate, which made for some difficulties, but what happened is this:

Lucia wanted marijuana, and a friend from school — a girl a year older — introduced her to Gabriel Matias Farias, 23, alias “Scar.” Farias is a small package of pure evil — 5-foot-3 and 130 pounds, with a criminal record that includes robbery, illegal weapons and drug possession. Four years ago, Faria was accused of being involved in “the rape of a child under 9 years,” but for some reason was released by police. Faria’s Facebook page featured multiple photos of drugs and weapons, and a photo of a tattoo on his back of Santa Muerte (“Saint Death”), an occult symbol.

This was the dangerous criminal to whom Lucia Perez was introduced by her 17-year-old friend, a school classmate named Bethlehem whom some Argentine press accounts have called the entregadora (“delivery girl”) in Perez’s death. After meeting with Faria and getting one joint on Friday, Oct. 7, Perez then evidently arranged another meeting the next day. Her mother is a nurse, who was at work that Saturday, and her father, a mechanic, left for his job about 10 a.m. When Lucia’s mother came home about 3 p.m., she found Lucia gone, but her laptop computer was sitting open, as if the girl had intended to return shortly. What had happened, however, was that when Lucia went to meet Farias again, he had a friend with him — Juan Pablo Offidani, 43, known as “Chinchilla.”

Offidani is a cocaine addict who has been in and out of rehab over the years. His father Eduardo is an escribania (“scribe” or “clerk”), which is sort of like a notary public. Being a successful escribania, the elder Offidani had apparently been supporting his drug-addict son for many years, buying him a house where he lived with his Brazilian girlfriend. However, the Offidani family had recently stopped giving money to Juan Pablo, who was dealing drugs with Faria. On that Saturday, Oct. 8, when Lucia Perez went to meet Faria again, Offidani was with him.

The two drug dealers were driving a van, Lucia got in their vehicle to make the drug transaction, and was kidnapped. A few hours later, she was dropped off at a local health clinic, where at first it was believed she was suffering a drug overdose. Instead, it turned out Lucia had suffered fatal internal injuries as a result of a brutal gang rape during which prosecutors say she was “impaled” with an unknown foreign object.

What does this crime tell us about machismo? Nothing.

Instead, what this story suggests is that law enforcement agencies in Argentina need to get serious about the drug problem in their country. It suggests that parents of teenagers — not just in Argentina, but everywhere — need to warn their kids not to be deceived by the glamorous “Bad Boy” image that drug dealers cultivate.

Evil exists in the world, and so does death — “the Cult of Santa Muerte has found particular popularity among fringe groups: the LGBT community, sex workers, the drug cartels, even young millennials.” Was it just a coincidence that Lucia Perez’s killer celebrated this death cult?

We are living in an evil age, and no one is safe from this evil. Turning the death of Lucia Perez into a political cause — “Basta de violencia machista” — is not merely misleading, it is dishonest. Facts matter. Truth is powerful, and you cannot defeat evil until you start telling the truth.



Comments are closed.