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They managed to convict the mayor who abused them and made a barbecue to celebrate: "We were able to resurrect"


María Luján, Verónica and Norma were encouraged to denounce the communal chief of Gilbert, in Entre Ríos. They say that they will continue to have consequences, but that they do not want to remain in the place of victims.

When on Monday at noon the verdict was announced in the courts of Gualeguaychú, which sentenced Angel Fabián Constantino, mayor of Gilbert, to 14 years in prison for triple sexual abuse, "


girls", as they call themselves, organized

"a barbecue to celebrate

. "

Something different had to be done, it couldn't be just another day, they thought.

"It was hinge day... the day our lives will begin to have a bit of peace

," they agreed.

And right there, with the effervescence of a decision that intoxicated them with a healing relief, they went to buy

the lamb that they would prepare at night


María Luján Aguirre took the initiative, Verónica Portillo was in charge of the menu and Norma Santos set up her house.

They are the three victims whom Constantino

sexually abused and psychologically harassed between 2015 and 2021, 

in the context of workplace and gender violence.

The Gilbert mayor, who

has been on paid leave since May 2022

, is in house arrest at home, monitored with an electronic anklet and with a patrolman at the door until Cassation confirms his conviction.

The one who was in charge of the Entre Ríos town is Alberto Meneses, sub-intendent,  

"When we left the courtroom and

We found ourselves hugging each other in the street, crying with joy over the failure, we found that we had to do something else.

I couldn't stay in a 'Well, girls, see you another day'.

No. We deserved to see each other again, to get together,

to share something more pleasant beyond the monster we have in common

, "Portillo says.

100 meters from where Constantino was detained, they met to celebrate the conviction of the former mayor of Gilbert.

For Norma it was "

not the happiest but the least bitter night of the last three years.

Do you know the ordeal we have been going through? Do you have any idea what my life and my health became after what I had to go through? It is a pity that with Luján and Verónica we have met after this misfortune that the three of us went through, but at the same time it is good

that we were able to face the situation, denounce it, endure being accused of liars

and today to be able to feel a little bit of tranquillity".

Norma does not remember how long it has been since she laughed


"We met at my house, where my husband made the scrumptious grilled lamb. Marcelo and José, Luján and Verónica's couples, and some boys were also there. We put on music and although we tried to distract ourselves and talk about other things We

kept thinking that Constantino's garbage was a hundred meters away...

I have to put up with the fact that the house arrest makes it almost next to me.

María Luján, Verónica, and Norma were up until three in the morning remembering -between laughs- their own suffering.

Verónica, the most introverted, says that "it was an evening that was as necessary as it was different... You can't talk about happiness or joy, because they humiliated us and those consequences will last a long time, but we were able to once again enjoy what was a

meeting as friends...

 Yes, as friends because in some way we generated a very strong bond. It is true that we never saw each other and it's

been two years since we shared anything, but this meeting was unforgettable


Verónica is tempted, some moments of the barbecue come to mind.

"It's just that we didn't know whether to cry or laugh, but luckily

We laughed at ourselves, at our regret, at those who touched us... And it was good to take it that way,

without feeling sorry for ourselves, nor putting ourselves in the place of victims


Luján puts in chips and comments on how funny the comments from many Gilbert residents gave them, that "they

never believed us, that they pointed their fingers at us, 

that they treated us like whores and that now they couldn't believe that they had sentenced him. I don't see the time to see the faces of those people who told us the worst things".

The three are proud of their strength, of tolerating threats and persecution to withdraw their complaints, and of overcoming their own fears.

"We have formed a block of granite,"

they illustrate.

On Monday, in Gualeguaychú, before the ruling is known.

"We took the first step, but we are not going to rest until he sees (Constantine) behind bars.

As if they had known each other for a lifetime... This is the feeling they transmit.


We couldn't stop talking, telling anecdotes, knowing a little more about each other... we laughed, we cried, we sang.

I don't remember the time that has passed since I enjoyed a meeting," Norma says.

"And that the context -Luján notes- was not the most favorable, but we put our claws into it, life is short for eternal suffering.

Of course there will be sequels, we know, but that's not why we're going to lower our arms

, not even fart.

There are children who encourage us to get ahead."

Olele, olala, Constantino is going to jail, he won't return to Gilbert


Luján sang all night and harangued her friends until after midnight.

Verónica and Norma escorted her, and her couples joined.

In the middle of the Gilbert morning,

they struggled to be heard in the quiet of the neighborhood


And the hit that was repeated until 3 in the morning, the time the meeting ended.

"We had a lot to talk about, we could have gone on all night... We wanted to know about ourselves, about our children, about jobs,

about how life went out from one day to the next

, about the moments of vulnerability, in which we never it ends up hitting rock bottom", shares Norma.

"But also in

how each one did to resurrect, because we were dead.

We are very different but we could be friends perfectly. We feel that a true feeling was born and a bond that will make us very strong," Luján confides.


and Luján remind Norma, when she saw Constantino leave the Courts of Gualeguaychú, handcuffed, and the police put him in the patrol car.


Norma ran him off, she eluded the police fence and threw the water she had in the thermos at him

," laughs Verónica.

"Yes, but then her blood pressure went up and she fainted... we all got scared," adds Luján.

"What madness", graph the three.

More flashbacks of the super Monday action thriller they lived through

appear at the dinner


"What made us laugh non-stop was seeing that guy (he doesn't name Constantino) arguing with the policeman who wanted to put handcuffs on him. He kept repeating 'it can't be, I'm innocent', and he refused to be handcuffed. He asked

for please not until the agent stopped him dead and he had no choice

, "shares Norma.

Ángel Fabián Constantino, the mayor of Gilbert convicted of sexual abuse.

Luján remembers that feline scene: "He asked that they not grab his hands, that they not handcuff him and that they not take him out into the street, because the neighbors were going to see him and the media were going to show him humiliated... My feeling was

like to come back to life, seeing him like this... sunken, almost kneeling reminded me of when I tried to grab him so


wouldn't do what he did to me.

to him... and had no mercy


He does not break, he tells it with aplomb.

"That scene shot me a thousand images in just seconds. At that moment, in court, seeing him (Constantinus) and remembering me in his claws were a flash, I was petrified at that moment when he said no with his head while

the The police officer yelled at him, scolded him...

In the meeting with the girls, that sequence was remembered with lots of laughter, because the three of us saw it and each one saw something different."

Norma takes medication for contracting a sexually transmitted disease -which Constantino gave her- and rummages with handicrafts to earn some income and help her 73-year-old husband.

Verónica had to look for a job as a nurse in another city, in Urdinarrain, because the doors were closed to her in her own pay.

Luján was left without a job, without a penny and with psychiatric medication for life.

But they say that

they already cried too much, "it's time to come back to life."

They are clear that what they have achieved "was a lot, but we also

know that the fight is not over,

because we are facing a guy with a lot of power, who has bought half the town," says Verónica.

With Norma they chew anger, because they found out, 48 hours after the conviction, that

the police mobile was not at the door nor had the electronic anklet arrived.

"We will never be calm, I will not stop until I see him behind bars," Norma slides.

The three agree that on the night of the barbecue "a solid bond was born in us, like we

have each other unconditionally.

We know what we are talking about, we know what we are experiencing and we can help and contain ourselves."

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Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-03-18

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