Today begins the trial in the murder Mariano Ferreyra, a young social activist killed in 2010 following clashes between outsourced workers and Railway Union members.
Union leader José Pedraza, and his right-hand man, Juan Carlos Fernández, are accused of planning the assault. Fifteen others, including unionists, police officers and hooligans, also stand trial for various levels of participation in the murder.
The trial will occur at the Comodoro Py courts in Retiro, where heavy police presence has been set in place to avoid possible conflicts.
The trial is due to last six months and will see more than 300 witnesses.
Ferreyra was killed on 20th October 2010 near the Roca train line in the Barracas neighbourhood. Ferreyra was a member of Partido Obrero, which had joined outsourced Roca railway workers on 20th October 2010 in a protest for equal pay, benefits and conditions as members of the Railway Union.
Though there are different accounts of the day, it is said that the Ferreyra and the protestors were retreating when a union gang launched an attack. The 23-year-old Ferreyra was shot and killed, sparking nationwide outrage over increasing union violence, as well as police corruption.
Several federal police officers standing trial are accused of neglecting to render assistance during the attack, as they did not attempt to prevent or stop the violence.
The suspected shooters are Cristian Favale and Gabriel Fernando Sánchez, members of football hooligan gangs commonly associated with political and union violence.
Pedraza was arrested on 22 February, 2011 at his home in Puerto Madero.
The investigation and prosecution of the suspects has had strong support from the government and former president Nestor Kirchner.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner commented on the trial today, saying it was an “emotional case” and that it greatly affected her late husband.