Argentine Police Officer Convicted for Killing a Minor in Hotel

Elizabeth Giuliana Anabella Solis Alvarez, aged 13, left her home last Thursday to celebrate the birthday of some friends of the Evangelical Church who frequented her family. That’s what he told his older brothers, responsible for his care while his mother worked. It was an invented excuse to meet Orlando Adrian Sanchez, a 30-year-old policeman whom he had met through the Facebook social network.

Sanchez took the child to a hotel for hours in Resistencia, the capital of the northern Argentine province of Chaco, and there he killed her, according to the hypothesis of the researchers. His lifeless body was discovered by hotel staff the next day, next to the policeman. When they knocked on the door and did not get an answer, they opened it and found them both lying on the double bed and with a shot in the temple.

“It would be a case of femicide followed by suicide because it is a forbidden relationship because of the age of the girl,” one of the researchers working in the case told the official Telam agency. Next to the body they found a 9-caliber Bersa pistol and three magazines with ammunition.

The details of the autopsy have not yet been revealed to know if the child was abused or if she showed signs of defense against possible aggression. It is also unknown how it was possible for the police officer to enter the hotel with a minor.

Justice tracks conversations maintained through the social network to try to find out more data. This is the fourth woman murdered so far this year in this province in northern Argentina, one of the poorest in the country.

Thanks to the documentation he was carrying, the man was quickly identified as a member of the police force in the city of Buenos Aires. The minor was identified hours later, after her mother made a complaint about her disappearance, surprised that she had not returned home that night or answered the calls.

The mother stated that she knew that her daughter was chatting on Facebook with Sánchez, but at no time did she suspect that they were in a relationship.

The death of Elizabeth again puts on the table role of social networks in the recruitment of minors and the great ignorance that exists in Argentina about this crime. The Argentine Penal Code punishes with the punishment of between six months and four years in prison the grooming or virtual harassment since 2013 but seven of every ten Argentines.

A recent survey by the consulting firm Management & Fit at the request of the NGO Grooming Argentina revealed that the lack of knowledge is greater the older and the lower the educational level. This NGO believes that awareness must start in the classroom, but public policies are also needed to make it known in the home.

Last year, the Argentine society was shocked by Micaela Ortega, aged 12, who was murdered by a man she had also met on Facebook. Micaela was found dead in an open field after weeks of searching around Bahía Blanca, some 650 kilometers south of Buenos Aires. The murderer posed as a girl his age through social networks. The police discovered that the aggressor had four different profiles, with more than a thousand contacts of minors.

In the last two years in Argentina, there were 576 femicides, according to the statistics of the NGO Casa del Encuentro. Members or former members of the country’s security forces were responsible for 37 of these murders and their victims were almost always shot dead.

In order to prevent new deaths, an opposition deputy has just presented a bill in the Legislature of Buenos Aires that seeks to restrict the use of weapons to those police force officers who have been reported for gender or family violence. The project foresees that those who have a complaint have limited weapon carrying only during their working hours.

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