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Man confesses to brutal murder of 12-year-old

The suspect’s house (left) was set on fire shortly after the incidents as citizens marched on the streets of Bahía Blanca to claim justice (right).

Hundreds of protesters march on the streets of Bahía Blanca to demand justice after killing

Almost a month after her disappearance, Micaela Ortega, the 12-year-old girl reported missing in Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires province, has been found dead yesterday in the outskirts of the city and a suspect identified as Jonathan Luna has been arrested by the police after he confessed to the murder.

According to medical reports, the girl was beaten to death and strangled with a T-shirt. Forensic experts who conducted the autopsy also said that she might have been murdered just a few hours after she went missing on April 23.

Hours after the police found the girl’s body, more than 600 protesters marched on the streets of Bahía Blanca streets to claim justice while others went to the suspect’s house, located in Ingeniero White, a small town near the city, and set it on fire.

Police sources said that Ortega was found in a piece of waste ground near Route 3, in General Daniel Cerri, eight kilometres from Bahía Blanca.

“The body was hidden among some trees with advanced signs of decomposition and severely beaten,” Bahía Blanca’s Security Secretary Emiliano Álvarez Porte said.

A few metres from the body, police officers also found Micaela’s backpack.

The Ortega family’s lawyer, Fernanda Petersen, told reporters that Micaela might have been murdered the same day she went missing.

“We suspect that she was killed on April 23, a few hours after she left home,” she told local media outlets.

The suspect was arrested Saturday night, after a brief police questioning where he confessed to the murder. He had a previous conviction for robbery and, according to the Infobae news portal, he hadfleed a Río Negro prison while on temporarily release.

In his house, the police officers found some of Micaela’s personal belongings such as a jacket and her mobile phone.

The investigators went after Luna after prosecutor Rodolfo De Lucía said that the suspect had contacted the victim on Facebook using a fake profile.

Álvarez Porte added that Luna pretended to be a girl of the victim’s age and persuaded her to leave home.

Luna will remain arrested in a police unit far from Bahía Blanca for security reasons. He will be interrogated by prosecutor De Lucía today.

CALLS FOR JUSTICE

Ortega went missing April 23 and, after her family reported her disappearence, local police, as well as family, friends and neighbours of the victim sought her intensely.

Since then, the girl’s family and friends also organized many marches for justice on Bahía Blanca streets.

Local authorities held a meeting with the victim’s family yesterday. Bahía Blanca mayor Héctor Gay said they will cooperate to solve the crime.

“We are deeply concerned and sad for Micaela Ortega’s death. We want to be near her family in this difficult moment,” Gay said in a statement.

This femicide occured a short time before a new protest of #NiUnaMenos (“Not One Less”) movement, on June 3.

In the last weeks leading up to the first anniversary of the historic protests against gender violence, organizers of the event have increased their activity with a new Twitter campaign called #VivasNosQueremos (We Want to Remain Alive) and #VolvemosAGritar (We Shout Again) where activists invited citizens to share their experiences of sexist violence in 140 characters or less.

The La Casa Del Encuentro NGO, which runs support groups for victims of domestic violence, reported that last year 286 women were killed in Argentina by domestic violence. The NGO also stressed that 60 per cent of the femicides were comitted by husbands, boyfriends and partners of the victims.

Herald with DyN

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