Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A grandson of one of General Pinochet’s murderous high command who killed a man in a bar after he heard he was wearing braces with the colours of the Spanish flag has been jailed for 20 years.
The case that became known as the ‘braces murder case’ was even more scandalous because it turned out that the man was not wearing braces when he was killed, and did not have a knife which the killer claimed he did have to justify his self-defence case.
The victim, Victor Lainez, 55, was attacked in a bar in the city of Zaragoza in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon in the early hours of 8th December 2017.
The defendant, Rodrigo Lanza, 36, who is a left-wing activist, was at the bar with friends where he initially exchanged heated words with Lainez after hearing he was a “nationalist” who wears Spanish flag coloured braces.
Police found no evidence that the man who was killed was either a nationalist or a right-wing extremist and on the night he died he was also not wearing any Spanish flag coloured braces.
Lanza claims Lainez called him ‘sudaca’ – a racist insult against Latin Americans in Spain, although, there were no witnesses to the argument.
The argument initially went no further and Lanza and his friends left the bar after several drinks but the victim followed them which ensued another argument and the fatal altercation.
Lainez was then attacked suddenly with no chance to defend himself, and before leaving the scene on his bike, Lanza kicked the unconscious man’s head one last time.
An initial conviction was annulled by the High Court of Justice of Aragon, but now, he has been convicted again with the aggravating circumstances of wanton disregard for human life and having an ideological motive, but with the mitigating circumstance of being drunk.
A court in Zaragoza ruled today that he be jailed for 20 years and pay the victim’s family EUR 200,00 (GBP 183,486) in compensation.
Lanza had previously served five years in prison after he was part of a group that left a cop paralysed while evicting squatters from a property in Barcelona on 4th February 2006.
He was released in 2012 amir controversy over his arrest when the cops were alleged to have committed torture.
The left-wing anarchist was featured in the documentary ‘Ciutat Morta’ (Dead City) where he talks about the earlier case, dubbed ‘4F’ referring to 4th February, and the alleged corruption surrounding it.
Lanza was the grandson of Sergio Huidobro Justiniano, 98, who was a Rear Admiral in Chile. He took part in the 1973 Chilean coup d’etat. It began Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship before he stepped down in 1990.
Pinochet was arrested in London on an international arrest warrant on several accounts of human rights violations.
He was then released in 2000 on account of ill-health and still had 300 pending human rights, tax evasion and embezzlement cases against him when he died six years later.
It is unclear how the descendant of a member of Pinochet’s high command, and therefore presumably a supporter of his authoritarian, dictatorial regime, became a far-left anarchist now found guilty of the murder of a man he thought was far-right.
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