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On Trial, Cristian Aldana Attacks Feminism as a Defense Strategy

aldana 1Cristian Aldana in court

It’s been almost five months since the trial against Cristian Aldana started in the Criminal Court N°25, and the future doesn’t look bright for the accused. A quick recap: he’s in the middle of a process that started in December 2016 for sexually assaulting underage girls in seven opportunities, for which he is now sitting trial.

According to one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, the dimensions of this case have rarely been seen. The crimes of which Aldana is accused took place between 1999 and 2010, and contemplate child abuse in the context of parties and group sex encounters that Aldana organized himself. All of this, combined with psychological and emotional abuse that the victims have suffered since.

During the trial’s first hearings, the seven plaintiffs declared before three judges – Rodolfo Bustos Lambert, Ana Dieta de Herrero, and Rodolfo Goerner. Five months on, the long list of witnesses keeps piling up: 102 are expected to take the stand, either in favor of or against the Aldana. This list includes not only friends and family of the implied but also ex-managers, colleagues, and people that worked with Aldana’s band, El Otro Yo, during the times of the accusations.

From the very beginning, the musician has rejected every single charge raised against him. When the accusations started to gain traction on the internet, he even attended a protest against him organized at the Obelisco, dressed as a nun. It’s important to stress this detail: according to declarations, he wore nun costumes in some of the orgies with underage girls.

After he was put in prison, a bit over six months after the first reports against him were filed, his sister, girlfriend, and friends started different campaigns to support him and demand his freedom. Some of these include video testimonials about their relationships, anecdotes; and some include low-quality “investigations” of the plaintiffs and their so-called political motivation behind all of this.

Even a few weeks ago, when the accusations against Onda Vaga’s musicians were posted on a blog, Aldana himself wrote a message on El Otro Yo’s Facebook page supporting the musicians and decrying political persecution against independent bands.

Con respecto a los escraches. Soy Cristian Aldana. Llevo más de 2 semanas de huelga de hambre y no estoy teniendo un…

Posted by El Otro Yo on Thursday, October 4, 2018

What is behind Aldana’s useless attempts to redeem himself in a political, judicial, and social perspective? As evident as it is that he has indeed committed these crimes – with all the evidence, the court is expected to sentence him to up to 20 years in prison – he is appealing to another aspect of our society: patriarchy, machismo, and the privileges of white, middle-class men.

Added to this, there has historically been a certain impunity reserved for certain musicians, as the #YaNoNosCallamosMás movement has risen in the past years. It is certainly not wild to assume that many people will continue to support him and to rage against women that stand up against their aggressors, breaking the cycles of silence that surround abuse and harassment.

And Aldana is not alone in his quest to turn tables and blame feminism and women for all their issues. Rodolfo Patiño, his lawyer, has built a whole defense around the so-called “witch-hunt” of which Aldana claims to be a victim. According to one of the witnesses, Julieta, who declared during the past week: “They claim there’s a sort of deranged sexist war against Aldana and that we are mentally unstable feminists telling fictional stories to destroy his integrity (…) One of their tactics is to establish feminism as a crime against human rights, claiming that being a feminist activist or identifying yourself as a feminist is an insult and a reprehensible fact. As they lack true arguments to sustain Aldana’s innocence, they try to turn us into the guilty ones.”

One of the latest attempts to victimize the accused was to appeal to the judges’ emotions. While his lawyer demands that several testimonies be annulled and claims that no one cares about the sensitivity of his client, Cristian Aldana has even thrown himself to the floor and wept in court. The episode happened close to when one of the witnesses was relating one serious abuse he had inflicted upon her.

In spite of the reiterated attempts of blocking and slowing down the trial, justice for the survivors of abuse by Cristian Aldana is on its way. As Julieta explains: “This trial is historic, and establishes a very important precedent: impunity for abusers is over.”

The process is expected to continue twice a week in the Criminal Court N°25, mostly Tuesdays and Thursdays starting in the morning. The court is open to the public.

Publicado en Bubble.ar el
2018-10-24 12:24:43

Lucía Cholakian Herrera

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