Christmas Friday at noon, the residents of Manantiales at 3700 consumed the surplus of Christmas Eve sitting on the sidewalk with their lounge chairs. Sweet bread, pudding or crumb sandwiches with mate, some vermouth or a can of beer. In the postcard they interfere, with great fluidity, some other “dawn” walking in zombie mode. In fluent talks they talked a bit about everything and also about Thursday’s double homicide. In a naturalized tone, without freshness, horror or fright, the murder of two 19 and 21-year-old kids did not sound new for the neighborhood.
Those who live on Manantiales lost the power of wonder in the face of violent death. They have told them ad nauseam to radio, television, newspaper and web media chroniclers. Sometimes their statements become “cassette” phrases due to the lack of attention they suffer from a State that decided to look the other way.
“It is happening to you. It’s like leather is tanned. This did not happen before. I was born and raised in this neighborhood. Until 10 years ago you could play ball in the street and the worst that could happen was that a crazy person in a car would get into everything and step on the ball. All of that disintegrated with the arrival of certain surnames. We no longer let our children go out to play on the sidewalk ”, a sub-30 neighbor sums up his reality, and completes the photo: “People gather less and less on the sidewalk. And when you are there you spend all your time looking at the motorcycle or the car that is coming in the distance. Anyone you ask will tell you that if it were up to them they would sell and leave here, but who is going to buy you a house in this area that seems to be in the middle of a war. Here wanting is not power. A shame because it is a nice neighborhood “.
>> Read more: “All the people were on the sidewalk, two came down with straws and fired”
The rectangle delimited by Seguí, Avellaneda, Felipe Moré and the Miter roads (Avellaneda at 4300) is a point on the map of Rosario where you can be killed. The layout of the Belgrano divides the Vía Honda into two well-marked neighborhoods: towards Avellaneda the atmosphere is that of a poor neighborhood, lacking but hard-working. Towards Rouillón the scenery is harsher and more desolate, with extreme poverty in sight.
However, it is on the least lacking side where violence has been showing its worst face. Between March 1, 2019 and February 20, four people were murdered in the vicinity of Manantiales and September 24, where neighbors got tired of denouncing the existence of a drug kiosk. There, Emilse Sosa, 16, and Miguel Angel Quintana, 50, were murdered (on March 1, 2019 in an insane attack with three other wounded); Juan Manuel Arias, 27 (on September 15, 2019), and Dora Quiroga, 63 years old (on February 8, 2020).
For a long time, residents have said that the sale of drugs in the area is monopolized by Ariel “Viejo” Cantero, in a personal undertaking that would be outside Los Monos. Neighbors talk about him without mentioning his last name, in an area where the “Old Man” sounds with great specific weight. Among its “managers” is mentioned a certain “Willy” and Nelson “Pandu” Aguirre. Also in this sector of Vía Honda lives “Bibi”, 29 years old and syndicated as a partner of the Old Man. Another player mentioned last year is nicknamed “Gitano”, alleged rival of the “Old”. And days ago it was learned that in the vicinity of Patagones at 3900, where Ramos was killed, live in-laws of a heavyweight detained in Piñero with the “high-profile prisoner” poster.
>> Read more: “There are more and more people selling and more and more people coming to buy”
Against this backdrop, the residents of the vicinity of Biedma and Manantiales said yesterday that the murdered kids were not known in the neighborhood and had arrived this week to live in a house located halfway down the hall. “In that corridor drugs were sold, as in most corridors, but these kids arrived this week. It is risky to say one thing or another. It is the same that happens with the house that is at the mouth of the corridor. It was sold there a long time ago, but now they have bought Paraguayan neighbors, good people who have nothing to do with it, and yet they pass by and are shot ”explained a neighbor.
The corridor under the magnifying glass joins the two faces of the Via Honda and is located just 30 meters from the temple of the Iglesia Restauración de la Familia. Going through it is a synthesis of the neighborhood’s shortcomings: clandestine water connections, stinking open-air drains and tangles of hooked cables.
At around 4 pm on Thursday, at least three boys were in the hall: Milton Sosa, Pablo Brest and Matías V. At the appointed time, an enduro-type motorcycle arrived with two men wearing blue work clothes and helmets. As soon as the motorcycle stopped, the passenger got out and without a word unleashed a hunt.
One of the victims was left lying at the entrance of the corridor and the other in the middle of the trace with multiple wounds in the thorax and abdomen. Matías V., 29, was hit on his right ankle. Half a dozen 9-millimeter pods were seized at the scene. “It happened like everything in this neighborhood. In the blink of an eye the shots were heard and when we looked out the bodies were lying. I said that it was extremely hot and at 4:00 PM people still hadn’t poked their noses out on the sidewalk ”, explained a resident.
The investigation of the double crime was in the hands of the prosecutor Alejandro Ferlazzo, who commissioned the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) to work in search of testimonies and public or private surveillance cameras. Was it a murder with a message? Were the victims the targets of the attack? Was it to discipline the neighborhood? All questions that will be cleared, or not, with the investigation.
>> Read more: A rain of blood and lead shattered the dreams of a Vía Honda family