Friday, November 25, 2022 | 6:00 a.m.
A burst of shots ended the life of a 36-year-old woman 20, almost 21 years ago, in Posadas. It happened on December 9, 2001 and hours later the victim’s husband, a policeman from Posada named Carlos Ramón Gómez, turned himself in.
The case, from a distance but also from what was said by legal actors cited by El Territorio at the time, did not present complications for its investigation due to the amount of evidence. It had been committed with the regulation weapon and even the author confessed what happened.
An alleged infidelity of María Esther Barreda -the victim- with another man at the time of the crime was revealed, and the file quickly advanced to the elevation of trial. However, even 20 years later, almost 21, the cause was not closed.
As El Territorio was able to learn based on documentation in the file, two weeks ago Gómez appealed directly to the Supreme Court of the Nation through a complaint. He is accompanied by the official defender Mario Ramírez, head of the Ombudsman for Instruction Three of Posadas.
However, the process until now had been carried out by private lawyers.
The appeal before the highest judicial body was presented after the rejection of the extraordinary federal appeal of the Superior Court of Justice, which was notified on November 10. The case is labeled as “EXPTE Nº 108195/2016 (ex 1129/2005) – GÓMEZ CARLOS RAMÓN S/ QUALIFIED HOMICIDE”, a crime that provides for life imprisonment -the figure of femicide had not yet been incorporated-.
In broad strokes, the end of the process was requested due to several points, but above all alluding that it was already dismissed in a timely manner and that the crime had already prescribed. Arbitrariness, violation of the principle of defense in a trial due to estoppel, progressivity of the acts, institutional burden for subversion of the procedural order, natural judge- reasonable term are the incorporated grievances.
The then gendarme turned himself in before his comrades in San José
To understand the fact, it is necessary to review the course of the process. Before the crime intervened the Investigating Court Three of Posadas, who was presided over at that time by Judge Eduardo D’Orsaneo. The magistrate soon issued preventive detention and then the prosecutor Margarita Wenner advanced with the request for elevation to trial, considering that the investigation was finished.
Likewise, the defender Eduardo Paredes opposed it and asked for the dismissal of Gómez with what was perhaps the only letter he had: he alluded to the inimputability of his client because he had acted -to explain it in simple terms- blinded by finding his partner with the lover
Given this and by majority, in 2003 the Criminal Court One later resolved to revoke the order for trial and ordered the dismissal of Gómez, a determination that was appealed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
And this is where the point of main conflict appears. The case fell to Criminal Court Two, which, acting as the Appeals Chamber -created in September 2013- ordered that the investigation continue. Since he could not return to the original court, he was assigned to Investigating Court One, then preceded by Enrique Gallardo.
The magistrate decided to release Gómez and established an extraordinary extension of the investigation to determine whether or not the suspect would be subjected to an oral and public trial. Thus, in the sea of delays and delays in Justice, the defendant was arrested again only in 2013 by order of the TP2. By then he was in Buenos Aires working in a laundry.
Everything seemed to come to an end when in 2018, 16 years after the crime, a date for the femicide debate was set. However, the trial ended up being suspended for an unusual reason: the license request of who was then the only prosecutor of Posadas.
“I have continued to be prosecuted, almost 20 years after being dismissed, a situation that cost me my career and that, in addition to the years incarcerated, I had a latent threat of being unfairly convicted for the time I have left,” it was stated. detailed in the presentation to which El Territorio had exclusive access.
Obviously due to the time that has elapsed, Gómez is currently continuing the process at large, although he alludes that due to the violation of rights he cannot have “the peace of mind that my situation of dismissal should bring with it, for having been declared not punishable.”
“The Magistrates -non-natural judges-, differ from the opinion of the original sentencers on the existence or not of the state of alteration of my mental faculties, at the time of the fact. They understand that this difference can only be observable in the plenary session, ignoring the most important thing: that any opinion they may have about a fact that has already been judged, can only be that, an opinion and nothing more, the sentence has already been handed down, which it has not been ‘respected’ as a jurisdictional act”, he insisted in another section.
And he asked ironically: “Is everything worth it when it comes to promoting the process because some officials did not like what was resolved by others? Are those the rules that should apply? And the dismissal must then yield to the animosity of the judges?
Now it will remain to know what the decision of the highest judicial body in Argentina is, although regardless of this everything is summed up in the phrase of Seneca: “Nothing is so similar to injustice as late justice.”
The crime and the versions
Carlos Ramón Gómez is accused of murdering his partner with several bullets on December 9, 2001. As reported by this medium on different occasions, the couple was resuming their relationship when the incident occurred.
The investigators followed the lead that the gendarme, at that time with the rank of first sergeant, would have followed his wife from a service station when he saw her go by on board another car.
The crime occurred in a house located two blocks from the Centro de Cazadores club, where the woman’s alleged lover lived. The gendarme arrived at the scene and found his wife with the stranger.
The versions that were replicated indicate that he found them having sexual relations -something the defense relied on-, while the alleged lover declared that he was bathing and heard the shots.
The truth is that Gómez used his service pistol to fire four shots at Barreda, who died instantly. He later escaped and turned himself in the next day at the National Gendarmerie post at the intersection of routes 105 and 14, in the town of San José.