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Argentina. Rugby players sentenced to life in prison for murdering student

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Eight amateur rugby players aged between 21 and 23 have been found guilty by an Argentine court of murdering a young law student. The killing outraged the public and sparked protests over other racially motivated attacks.

A court in the city of Dolores sentenced five men to life in prison on Monday – W Argentina in fact, it is a maximum of 35 years – for his involvement in the murder of 18-year-old Fernando Baez Sosa, the only son of Paraguayan immigrants.

Three other men were sentenced to 15 years in prison. Several of the strikers belonged to the same amateur rugby team.

Murder in a nightclub

Fernando Baez Sosa and his friends were enjoying themselves at a nightclub in the coastal town of Villa Gesell when an argument broke out between them and the rugby players. Both groups were ejected from the club – a few minutes later, the rugby players surrounded and attacked Fernando Baez Sosa.

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The event lasted about 45 seconds and was recorded on one of the phones. Witnesses said they heard some of the attackers throw racial slurs at Sosa.

Rugby players sentenced to life in prison for murdering studentReuters

Since January, around 80 witnesses have testified about the student’s murder, including young people who witnessed violent scenes and parents of rugby players.

The prosecution sought life sentences for all members of the group, describing their collective actions as “execution”. Defense attorneys for the defendants pointed out that the group should be acquitted because none of them wanted to kill Baez Sosa.

“Fernando is the only victim here,” his mother, Graciela Sosa, told reporters. “They killed him in the worst possible way by kicking him as he begged them to stop,” she added.

Rugby players convicted in murder case

Argentina’s National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism described the killing as a racially motivated attack. “My son was beaten for racist reasons,” Fernando’s father, Silvino Baez, wrote. “It was hate. Maybe they felt superior because they are blonde and Fernando had dark skin,” he added.

The lawyer of the killed student’s family announces appeals. In his opinion, all attackers should receive life imprisonment.

Main photo source: Reuters

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