The emptying of Line 148 is worrying

«We cannot be distracted on this issue«said Governor Rolando Figueroa when he referred to femicides in his inaugural speech to the Legislature, on March 1. Regarding gender-based violence, he promised to put all the “economic and professional resources to create the public policies necessary to completely eradicate this scourge that affects us as a society.” Four months into the administration, Line 148, one of the main entry points for these situations, still has not completed its staff.

The service created in 2016 and which operates 24 hours a day, Monday to Monday, It currently has 12 operators. This very small number of personnel means that there is only one worker for each six-hour shift. It’s not even enough to form pairs. Although there are promises of upcoming revenues, none have materialized so far.

What does this deficit of operators affect? There is an overload and exhaustion of those who offer support, provide information and assess risk.

Line 148 was not designed to “dispatch” emergencies, but its structure is more complex and includes case monitoring.

Every call that comes in means for that worker track If the person has already communicated previously, load it in the system with all the personal data of both her and the person who commits violence. Describe that story and Activate some guard if necessary, this means connecting with other areas of the State.

If, for example, a woman was referred to another organization, she must be asked if that intervention was carried out and charged. Meanwhile the phone rings and accumulates missed calls, which are requests for help. Missed opportunities.

Sometimes the contact is not for an emergency, but They want to know why they don’t go through the police patrols they have arranged. In these circumstances, you must contact the police station to notify them and call the woman again to tell her what they responded to, and ask her to please notify her if this happens again.

Another important detail: The operators are the ones that receive demand from the entire province, not just from the Confluencia area. If a teenager from a place in northern Neuquén communicated, the message must be passed to the network that operates there. Here it should be added that the only Chos Malal worker who has Line 148 was recategorized after December 10 with a lower rank than she had, and they still owe her salary (see separate).

With the change of administration the service It no longer depends on the former Ministry of Women and Diversity but moved to the Secretariat of Emergencies and Risk Management (under the umbrella of Chief of Staff), whose logic has very little to do with this specialized attention, as stated by the workers themselves.

Since 2021, 148 has received calls to Line 102, focused on attention to mistreatment and sexual abuse of children and adolescents, which occur after 4 p.m. With the sanction of Law 3390, the provincial government cannot do without the service and must prioritize it.

Last year the Line detected 44 women with indicators that put them in imminent danger of lifeeither due to the frequency or severity of the events, which could have ended in femicide and did not occur due to an external circumstance.

Road to trial

In 2023, the province recorded the highest rate of femicides in the country. Almost all of them occurred in the house where the women lived, or in the immediate vicinityand the accused or convicted had been or were in a relationship with them.

Of the nine cases, in four the defendants acknowledged responsibility. They were the femicides of Karen Ibarra, Norma Morales, Luz Prieto and Cristina González.

There was a case filed, because after committing the crime the aggressor committed suicide. Is about Carolina Epullan who received 18 stab wounds from his partner, Iván Aravena, in Piedra del Águila.

Everything indicates that the murder of Emili Espinoza Moreno, in Neuquén capital. The person who shot him with his service weapon was Juan Jesús Gabriel, a first corporal from whom he was trying to separate. He committed suicide with that same 9 mm. They are still awaiting the results of a DNA study to determine the closure of the investigation.

The femicide of Gisela Fuentesin Centenario, is one of three cases that are scheduled to go to trial this year. On May 2, the accusation control hearing will be held, in which, among other aspects, the evidence is defined. According to the accusation, her ex-partner, Roberto Figueroa, shot her and wounded the man who was accompanying her. In this case there was a history of an attack with a firearm that the prosecution filed.

The investigation period ends on April 27 the femicide of Carina Barros, the youngest victim of all, in Buta Ranquil. She was just 15 years old. The accused is an ex-boyfriend, Maicol Tapia. It will be the first jury trial to be held in the north, after ten years of implementing the criminal procedure reform.

The last case is that of Rosana Artigas, who remained missing for eight days and her body was found in a semi-submerged bin in the Limay River. José Fernández, his ex-partner, is accused of the femicide of the woman with whom he was in a relationship for 20 years. She had reported him in 2022 for gender violence. The Judicial Office must set the date for the accusation control.

Carina lived in Buta Ranquil, Rosana was from Plottier and Gisela from Centenario.

A worker from Chos Malal, without salary and with a lower rank

Marcela Galeano is the only representative that has Line 148 in Chos Malal. Social worker, she joined in September 2022 and her work is fundamentally territorial. She establishes contacts with all the areas that provide care and prevention in situations of gender violence, and when the operators notify her that she has received a call about a case in her area, she activates.

Although the north is a large region, with dispersed locations that are difficult to access He never had a vehicle to travel with and the per diem allocated to him did not cover the costs of accommodation.

On December 4, 2023, they notified him that his political staff contract was not being renewed. On December 11 they said yes, it would continue. However, it did not appear in any structure. The designations were published, except hers. When the decree finally appeared, on March 21, it was announced that she had been given a lower category: she was now administrative. Just a few days ago, and to his desperation, they told him that they were going to settle his salaries for December, January, February, March and April, at this point, completely devalued.

How did you survive all these months without this income? “My partner and the networks,” she responded.

He stated that, at least in the north, it is not possible to simply broadcast that there is a number and wait for people to communicate, with the existing connectivity difficulties.

“The accompaniment with people from rural areas is different,” he insisted.

He added: “We work much more within the schools, in activities that we put together with the networks, and that is where the demand appears. In much of our territory they cannot call because there is no line, and in addition to that people prefer to call someone they know, call someone who is from here, call someone who is here. They prefer to go to the hospital, go to the police station and not the call. We have managed to work much more in the territory to make the Line system known and to give them confidence. Thanks to this process, the Line’s income began to increase.”

He emphasized that everything that happened these four months affected his mental health. “Must see How we take care of the people who have the role of accompanying those who are in a situation of vulnerable rightsand in this case I am being violated by the State,” she said about job uncertainty.

CPEM N°35 where Carina studied in Buta Ranquil. She was 15 years old. Photo Florencia Salto.

In May, Lagos will be tried for the sexual attack against Luz

Light of Miracles Prieto20 years old, was murdered along with her mother, Norma Morales 58 years old, on February 11, 2023 at his home in the Los Hornitos neighborhood of Neuquén capital. The prosecution has to prove that prior to the double femicide, Jorge Lagos He sexually attacked the young woman.

He admitted responsibility for the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison.but he never acknowledged the attack even though traces of his DNA (semen) were found on Luz’s body.

The trial will take place on May 22 and 23. The crime for which he is accused is sexual abuse with carnal access.

Lagos had been Norma’s partner. That Saturday morning, in a display of misogynistic violenceinjured them with at least one knife, with a large point and edge, in addition to hitting them.

It caused two very severe wounds to Luz’s chest. He inflicted at least 50 wounds on Norma’s chest, face, and forearm, and then she dismembered her. The prosecution’s theory is that the femicides were committed to hide the sexual abuse.

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