LATIN AMERICA

Argentina: Killing of pregnant 15-year-old highlights problem of teen criminals

Use of minors by criminal gangs prompts call for age of criminal responsibility to be lowered

Two widely reported murders by minors who were committing robberies have led to calls for the Argentinean government to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 14. On Christmas Eve, 14-year-old Brian Aguinaco was shot and killed following a robbery by two teenagers in Buenos Aires.

One of the killers is arrested.
One of the killers is arrested.Ministerio Seguridad

More information

Then on January 17, a 15-year girl named Jenifer Trillo Juli, who was five months pregnant, was killed while waiting at a bus stop with her mother in a suburb of the capital.

Two teenagers approached her from behind, grabbing her backpack and pushing her to the ground, according to eye witnesses. The report into the assault also mentions that the girl was shot while she was lying on the ground.

Organized criminal gangs are accused of using underage associates to carry out robberies, typically aboard a scooter: the courts cannot charge them and are obliged to release the minors.

The two individuals arrested for the murder of Juli are 14 and 15 years old, the police revealed.

The boy who killed Brian Aguinaco was 15 and did not face any charges; he has since been sent to Peru with his grandfather.

English version by Nick Lyne.

At EL PAÍS, dozens of journalists are working to bring you the most rigorous information and meet their public service mission. If you want to support our journalism and enjoy unlimited access, you can do so here for €1 for the first month and €10 from the following month, and you can cancel at any time.

Subscribe

More information