“We have no more strength”: The pain of the family of Matías Berardi, the teenager kidnapped and murdered in 2010

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Matías Berardi was 16 years old when he was kidnapped and murdered
Matías Berardi was 16 years old when he was kidnapped and murdered

“No one can estimate what my son has suffered and what we are going through. We are out of power, they caused us a lot of damage. Neither Juan (the father) nor I have words to express ourselves. We miss Matthew so much. Sometimes it just hurts to live“, He says Maria Ines Daveriothe mother of Matthew Berardithe 16-year-old teenager who was kidnapped and murdered by a criminal gang in 2010. His words reflect the grief that has weighed on his family ever since.

The case shocked society. Because the victim was a minor and because of the brutal actions of the killers. But also because at a certain point in time The boy was able to escape from his kidnappers and the violent situation could have ended differently. But no neighbor helped him.

Solidarity was precisely one of the qualities that characterized Matías, the eldest of four brothers, in fifth grade at high school. In dialogue with InfobaeHis mother remembers him as “a special boy, pure kindness, cheerful, humble, supportive. In everything he did, he always put others before himself. He helped everyone, he took great care of his brothers. Good son, good partner. He was only 16 and had unusual courage and maturity.”

The case

It kept happening September 28, 2010. That night, Matías had gone dancing to a bowling alley on Costanera Norte Avenue in Buenos Aires, where he was meeting up with friends to celebrate a birthday and graduation. back home Engineer MaschwitzA station wagon left him at the intersection of Route 26 and Panamericana. It was about 5:45 in the morning. Exactly half an hour later At 6:11 p.m., the victim’s parents received a call from the boy’s phone, in which a man informed them that he had their son kidnapped.

Subsequent investigations confirmed that after the youth exited the station wagon and sometime on the way to his home, the youth was intercepted and kidnapped by a gang he led Richard Fabian Soutoa blacksmith of Uruguayan nationality who He acted in the company of his wife, daughters, brothers-in-law and other relatives.

The criminals began a series of blackmail calls to the victim’s family, demanding varying amounts of money for the ransom: they even claimed $30,000. At least they had handcuffed and locked in a workshop from Sarmiento Avenue to 400, in the city of Buenos Aires Benavidez, tiger party. There were a total of eight phone calls to Matías’ parents. Seven occurred in the early hours of the morning through 8:18 a.m. that morning.

After spending more than 12 hours in captivity, around 7:20 p.m., The young man managed to escape. He jumped a fence leading to the park surrounding the workshop and reached the street. Barefoot and a little disoriented from the beatings he had received started asking the neighbors for help whom he informed them that they had kidnapped him. But nobody helped him or gave him shelter.

There were ten convicts for this.  Another accused, who was still a minor at the time and acquitted in the first instance, is now threatened with a new trial
There were ten convicts for this. Another accused, who was still a minor at the time and acquitted in the first instance, is now threatened with a new trial

Berardi met a man about to enter his home, rang the bell of the owner of a kiosk on the block, and rang the bell He even tried to get into the vehicle of a taxi driver who, fearing the situation, sped up and left the place.. Meanwhile, two of the kidnappers got into a car and they hunted him. They took him back two blocks away, at the gates of a cemetery. In order to mislead the neighbors and so that no one would help him, the women involved in the kidnapping went out into the street and shouted that the young man was a thief who tried to rob them.

minutes later to 20.38, the last call came from the kidnappers, who asked the victim’s family if they had the money they were asking for. On the other end of the phone they answered that had raised $6,000 before which they cut. Then, sometime in the early hours of the next day, Matías was taken to a vacant lot Bell jar, where the assassins shot him in the back. The body was found hours later.

A hearing was held in the dock with 11 defendants in the case. In April 2013, the aforementioned Richard Souto (55 years old today), Nestor Facundo Maidana (3. 4), Damian Maximilian Sack (28), Gonzalo Hernan Alvarez (43) and Gabriel Raul Figueroa (29) were sentenced to life imprisonment by the San Martín Federal Criminal Court No. 3.

In addition, Judges Elbio Osores Soler, Lidia Soto and Germán Castelli imposed the following sentences on the rest: 24 years in prison for Ana Christina Moyano (wife of Richard Souto, 50 years old), 21 years old Federico Esteban Maidana (39), 19 years old Celeste Veronica Moyano (39), 18 years old Elijah Emmanuel Vivas (32) and 17 years for Jennifer Stefania Souto (31).

A young one now Alexia Souto MoyanoThe daughter of the gang leader, who was a minor at the time of the crime (she was 17 years old), was acquitted. But then the criminal court reversed the verdict and ordered a new hearing against the now 29-year-old woman.

María Inés Daverio, the mother of Matías (Nicolás Stulberg)
María Inés Daverio, the mother of Matías (Nicolás Stulberg)

In the file, several witnesses have located Alexia Souto Moyano with an active role at the scene of the events. She was singled out as who He took care of guarding the victim during his captivity. For the investigators, his involvement in the arrest and concealment of Berardi was proven.

Debate against the woman was due to start this week, but Friday’s hearing was stayed at the request of the defense, who said they were considering an abbreviated trial, he was told. Infobae. That would mean accepting the blame in exchange for a lesser sentence. Therefore, a new appointment with the parties was arranged for October 3rd.

“It’s a serious crime and so should the punishment. But accepting his guilt would be an important step.”, contemplated María Inés, pointing out that the accused “never made a statement and never asked for forgiveness” “despite a lot of evidence”, just like the convict. With that in mind, he questioned: “He was very young then, now he’s not.”

“Back then, our children were very young. We had no choice but to continue for them. The judiciary gave an answer that helped us. There were harsh penalties. And in this new process, I think it’s very important, not just for our family and friends, but for society as a whole, that that person has a belief. He needs to take responsibility for what he did,” the mother continued.

And he added: “I see no point in resigning to such a death, so brutal. but that there is still justice I think would give us all hope that things can change“.

The victim's parents call for justice in front of the obelisk (Nicolás Stulberg)
The victim’s parents call for justice in front of the obelisk (Nicolás Stulberg)

Before graduation, María Inés shared with this medium a letter from Nora Taberna, a primary school teacher from Matías. The text, the mother emphasized, helps to understand in words what her son was like:

So you were 6 or 7 years old and we shared two of our lives.

So you were Berardi and I was Mrs. Nora. You loved that he called you by your last name, and you expected the ‘What’s Berardi doing?’ Unleashing laughter, a toothless laugh, a clear and radiant laugh.

So you could show up to school in your dad’s shoes because the dog had grabbed yours and that’s how you untied it. Her logic was irrefutable.

So you were what they always told me: a loving son, a present brother, an excellent companion, a best friend.

So I envisioned how I envisioned a future for each and every one of my students, and towards you, and I’ve always told you this, I envisioned you as a footballer, not just because you played well, but because you knew how to belong to a team; You had learned the rules of friendship and camaraderie as a child.

So I was sure that you would always be a noble and supportive being. Solidarity that they did not practice with you and in this non-practice you left us a photo so we can see what we have become as a society.

We are here because this photo hurts and shames us, because we need to engage as human beings and as citizens, because we want things to change. If we manage to transmit some of your values, then and only then have we honored you, Matías.


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