“The jail dominates the street,” said the mayor. “They operate 24 hours from prison,” it was concluded in one of the investigations. “From jail they lead a criminal company,” is repeated in the different accusations. Despite the fact that the leaders of different narco-criminal organizations in Rosario are behind bars, they do not stop being active and accumulating cases against them. Their names fly over each new death that falls on the streets of Rosario. Nothing stops them. Neither the change of penitentiary nor adding years of sentences, nor the unbridled increase in homicides in the streets of that city of Santa Fe. Neighbors and relatives of victims demonstrated this week at the Monument to the Flag with two clear and graphic slogans: “Rosario bleeds” and “We want peace.”
The request was heard, after a long Carnival weekend that left seven dead and after the alarming crime of street musician “Jimi” Altamirano, a young man shot to death to kill him in front of Newell’s stadium and use his body to leave a message, occurred on February 1st. The prosecutor’s office mentioned that this fact exceeded “all limits” and alluded to Ariel “Guille” Cantero and his people in the dispute over the business of the bar.
In response to Jimi’s crime, a health center was shot at a few days later, where they left a handwritten message on a piece of cardboard. The mayor Pablo Javkin had to suspend the act that he was carrying out and maintained: “The situation is very serious. There are institutional attacks, added to the achievement of crimes. We know that 95% of the cases are originated by people who are in the custody of the prison services that plan, execute and order these events from prison”.
This week Brando Ortigoza (18) was assassinated and next to his body they left a sign that mentioned a prisoner allegedly linked to the leprosarium and Los Monos and that said to stop “killing innocent people.”
Who are they? Guille, the Old Man and Lucho Cantero. The Esteban and the Peruvian. They are nicknames that are repeated over and over again in the police chronicles, at the prosecutor’s table and in the sentences signed by the judges. They are all in prison, but active. They never lost their validity, although they are behind bars. They are not the only ones to be accused of inflicting violence, but perhaps they are the central ones on the map of drug crime.
Julio Rodríguez Granthon is an aviator, they call him the “Peruvian” and in recent days he has been in the news again because in the preliminary hearing for the trial for the murder of former councilor and pastor Eduardo Trasante, the prosecutors requested a life sentence for him and three other people.
Trasante was murdered inside his home by two hit men (not yet arrested) in 2020. The Peruvian is accused of being part of the criminal plan as a “necessary participant.” According to the investigation, he bought the car the murderers used to get around from prison.
The cell phones they use to issue orders are later part of the wiretaps that make up the files against them. “Are you comfortable? What is the life of the ‘millo’. But look how it is, ‘Lucho’, the two of us in gray and we know where they are sitting eating, at what time, everything, “said Lorena Verdún, her mother, to Luciano” Lucho “Cantero. “Don’t put ‘Guille’ here, because ‘Guille’ doesn’t cut or play with me. And the neighborhood is mine,” says Lucho, son of the murdered leader of Los Monos, Claudio “Pájaro” Cantero.
Both conversations are part of the evidence exposed in a series of hearings in which the prosecution accused, last October, Lucho of leading a “criminal company” that “operates 24 hours a day, ordering attacks with firearms against different people, choosing to those who are going to fulfill each of the roles in the events, acquiring and arranging the use of firearms of great offensive power and vehicles, authorizing the payment to the members of the organization for the “work” carried out and for the “expenses ‘ caused”.
The Cantero clan historically made up the Los Monos gang, although today it would be divided into different cells, with Lucho as one of the youngest leaders. While two other lines are headed by his grandfather and founder of the band: Máximo Ariel, alias “El Viejo”, and the other his uncle Guille.
It is precisely Guille who has accumulated the most cases against him since he turned himself in to Justice in 2013, after the murder of his brother and the wave of revenge crimes that has occurred since then. She accumulates almost a hundred years in prison. On the opposite sidewalk is Esteban Alvarado. Sentenced to life for leading an organization that committed crimes, shootings and money laundering. One of the homicides was that of the lender Lucio Maldonado, which occurred in 2018. Next to the body they had left a sign with the phrase “you don’t screw with the mafia.”
a crime a day
All this wave of violence comes as a course of a 2022 as the bloodiest year of the last ten in the department of Rosario. The beginning of this 2023 seems to continue in the same red and alarming line: in 55 days it accumulates 55 intentional homicides. While in the entire province 77 victims were registered.
This is how 71% of those murders were concentrated in Rosario. And it is not accidental. It is there where the territorial dispute and the display of power to the shots by the narcocriminal gangs are the causes of “Rosario blood” as announced by the posters that the people who gathered at the Monument to the Flag raised last Wednesday.
In January there were 26 homicides in the department of Rosario (eight out of ten were registered in the main city). While in the department of the capital of Santa Fe, only five occurred in the first month of the year, which counteracts two totally different scenarios.
February has accumulated 29 homicides in Rosario. The last three occurred on Friday, in less than three hours.
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