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Dying in quarantine: the murder of psychologist Patricia Fretes and another chronicle of an announced femicide


The 47-year-old woman had reported her husband several times. She wanted to separate but he asked her to stay in the quarantine and she cut her throat.

Ana Perciavalle

06/03/2020 - 7:00

  • Clarí
  • Society

Try a different, more independent life. A job away from home as a first step to generate more income and also to open career options. With this plan, the psychologist Patricia Frete started 2020 without even suspecting that just in March, all conversations would focus on terms such as quarantine, pandemic and session via zoom. Without imagining that the most feared hell was waiting for her right there , inside her own house, designed by a husband who was not going to stop until he killed her.

Patricia Frete's name makes up the list of the more than 50 women murdered in the country during the quarantine. It is that femicide is the only crime that does not stop during the confinement . On the contrary, it is nourished in the silence of the surroundings and in the closed street door and in this way, it flares up.

The police report indicates that on Tuesday, April 28, Miguel Massolo entered the home located in the Villa Verde neighborhood and, without saying a word, attacked Patricia's daughter with a butcher knife who got in his way and tried to stop him. The 24-year-old girl suffered cuts to her body but was able to escape and came out screaming for help. As she ran to the nearest houses, Massolo cut Patricia's throat. After making sure he had murdered her, he made some superficial cuts, as if to simulate a fight or something.

The gender violence area of ​​the General Rodríguez Psychosocial School is named after Patricia Frete in her memory. Photo: Lucía Merle

Patricia was 47 years old and lived in Pilar, Buenos Aires province. She lived with her daughter and with Miguel Massolo (48) her husband for ten years . He worked from home and in different volunteers, but in 2020 he had decided to take another type of job, with classes and consultancies in the neighboring town of General Rodríguez.

Patricia Frete, psychologist. Killed by her ex at her Pilar home in late April.

With his partner, things were not going well. The start of the quarantine found them talking about final separation . It was then that Massolo asked him to stay in the house but in the back, in a kind of barbecue that they had set up and where he could stay until he could rent something. Patricia accepted and that was the beginning of the end, which would come a few days later, on the afternoon of heavy rain on the last Tuesday in April.

As in almost all the stories that culminate in femicide, there was also a background here . Signs that had they been read by those who occupy positions in the security forces and in Justice, could have changed the course of history. Two years ago, in August 2018, Patricia had presented herself to the Women's Police Station in her area and had requested the exclusion from her husband's home . It was not once, but several times, in a path that took her from the Family Court to the Police Station, and so again, to obtain a paper with a signed order. The "perimeter" worked for a few days, but then Massolo appeared around the house and at that moment, no policeman came to verify it.

Within months of that episode, they lived again as a couple. “Patricia was a very special girl, she always tried to empathize with the other, to forgive, to understand . Then they would get ready. And when she was scared, she hid it well, ”says the lawyer Marcelo Gomez, who she used to advise her, but also from a place of friendship.

Ten days before she was killed, Patricia called him. “She did not know what to do, she realized that he could not bear that she had financial independence and was violent. I tried to convince her to ask for a new perimeter but she replied that she was tired of all the bureaucracy . That she couldn't make sense of getting into a round of paperwork if, in the end, the police did not go afterwards and she was left alone in the house. That the best he could do was try that he not be angry , "says Gomez.

One day in April, as the quarantine entered, Patricia ran into her husband sharpening a knife . He said nothing to her, just looked up and stared at her for long seconds. "I do not know well, but I think it is only my idea, it is I who should be suggested," he later said to the lawyer, trying to explain why he contacted him. As of today, Massolo remains detained in the Pilar police station as the only accused in a case of femicide.

“Always very smiling, very active and very predisposed to work. There was no chance that I thought something so terrible was happening to him , ”reflects Rosana Deza, director of the Civil Association“ Creating projects ”, the school and consultancy of social psychologists where Patricia had started working in January, as coordinator on the subject of addictions and problematic consumption.

"This issue of forced coexistence and violence is recurrent , in cases that I have attended there is always the phrase" he does not want to go "or" he cannot go ". But we did not know that here with Patricia this was happening ”, clarifies Deza.

“We spoke the night before she was killed. We communicated through an institutional video that we were preparing, because she had sent me her part. She was very excited about the work, with her students, encouraging everyone to join the virtual mode and offering themselves for a telephone containment service. When we had meetings, before the quarantine, she came first, although she was the one who lived the furthest, ”remembers Edgardo Romero, secretary of studies at the school. We found out from the news, when we saw his name on television. I contacted General Rodríguez's security secretary to check that it was true. And sadly yes, it was her. ”

After a day of mourning, the school decided to call "Patricia Frete" the space where courses on gender violence are held. "We want your name to stay present. From now on, all the actions that we carry out will be a continuous tribute to her ”.

Source: clarin

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