What you should know about the murder of the young Fernando Báez (2020) 1:59
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
The name of Fernando Báez Sosa resonates strongly in Argentina almost three years after this 18-year-old, from a humble immigrant family and law student, was brutally beaten to death by a group of rugbiers at the exit of a dance in Villa Gesell.
This Monday, February 6, the verdict is expected in the trial against the eight defendants for the murder, who are between 21 and 23 years old and have been in preventive detention since 2020, the year of the death of Báez Sosa.
What happened to Fernando Báez Sosa?
How was his death?
A "mischievous, supportive and affectionate" young man with "many friends"
Since the homicide with fists and kicks that occurred in the Villa Gesell resort, located 380 km from Buenos Aires, Fernando's parents, Silvino Báez and Graciela Sosa, have not ceased in their call for justice.
And, in the tireless search for him, this couple from Paraguay has remembered him as a close son, who made them feel proud and who enjoyed his life as a teenager while advancing in his studies.
"Fer was very naughty, supportive and affectionate. He was very shy but he still had many friends. He made me feel proud when I went to school and some mother told me what a good person and educated he was," recalled Graciela Sosa in statements to Télam in October 2020, when she spent her first Mother's Day without her son.
"Fernando was my everything, my life, my partner, my teacher, he taught me things," she explained then.
More recently, on the two-year anniversary of his death on January 18, 2022, his father remembered him as an "excellent boy."
"He liked Villa Gesell, he liked to come to see the sea, to have a nice time with his friends," he said, in an act at the resort in which a chorus of protesters called for "justice," according to the Télam report.
Silvino Báez (left) and Graciela Sosa (right), parents of 18-year-old Fernando Báez, demonstrate in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires on February 18, 2020 to demand justice one month after his murder.
(Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
The calls for justice after the death of the young man overflowed the Argentine borders: in January 2020, his family in Paraguay also gathered before the Argentine embassy in the neighboring country to demand a trial of the alleged murderers.
At that time Vicente Palacios, a relative of Fernando, told the ABC television channel that he was "a boy who had a future, a fighter, a scholar."
"They cut short his future," he said.
Fernando Báez Sosa had attended the Marianista College, in Caballito, another of the institutions that has made repeated calls for justice.
There he was receiving a scholarship, according to the testimony of his Paraguayan relative.
Fernando "was a good kid (boy), he was a kid who had friends in all grades," recalled one year after his death one of the teachers at the Catholic school he attended, Sergio González, in statements to Clarín.
"We were lucky to be able to experience his happiness. The happiness of being here. The happiness that he transmitted to others for being such a good friend to his friends and also his being supportive. Fernando was a guy who was concerned about others and that was I noticed him," he said.
Several people hold signs with the portrait of Fernando Báez Sosa in a demonstration in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Juliet's "adventure companion"
Fernando Báez Sosa was in a relationship with Julieta Rossi, who, after the young man's death at a dance where she was also present, spoke to the Argentine media Infobae about their relationship.
He was "my adventure partner, because I did everything with him," she said then, recalling a shared life that included everything from singing karaoke to a tango class, and gifts ranging from pancakes for her birthday to a "distance bracelet." to symbolize their union.
In March 2020, when the teenager would have turned 19, the young woman published an emotional message on her social networks in which she pointed harshly at those accused of the murder.
That group of young people "decided that you were not going to be able to have a future, your law career, they decided that you were not going to be able to get married, have children, travel, have grandchildren, basically live life," she wrote.
"Today you can't celebrate anything, because they stole the opportunity for everything," she added, according to the Télam report.
Fernando and Julieta, according to press reports and statements by the young woman to local media, had met at school, although they did not attend the same class.
At the time of the young man's death, they had been in a relationship for just under a year.
With information from Ángela Reyes, Iván Pérez Sarmenti, Hugo Manu Correa and Emilia Delfino