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ARGENTINA | 31-08-2023 14:50

Killed for his mobile phone: 42-year-old man dies after fatal stabbing attack in Palermo

New father Mariano Barbieri, 42, dies at hospital from wounds sustained in a fatal stabbing attack in Palermo; After being attacked and having his mobile phone stolen, the victim managed to stagger to an ice cream store where he pleaded for help and told police: "I don't want to die."

A 42-year-old man has lost his life from injuries sustained in a stabbing attack in the Buenos Aires City neighbourhood of Palermo.

Civil engineer Mariano Barbieri, who became a father for the first time just four months ago, was attacked by an as-yet-unidentified assailant who stole his mobile phone. He suffered a serious stab wound to the chest, which ultimately proved to be fatal.

The incident, which took place on Wednesday night at around 10.45pm, happened near the corner of Avenida Del Libertador and Lafinur, police sources said. They are searching for a single suspect, they added.

Despite his injuries, Barbieri managed to make it to a nearby ice cream shop to ask for help. He was eventually taken by an ambulance to the Hospital Fernández, but doctors were unable to save him.

Dr Ignacio Previgliano, the director of the institution, said that the victim had arrived with a “thorax wound” and that doctors had attempted to resuscitate Barbieri for an hour and a half.

“He was intubated, went into cardiac arrest, and it was attested that he had no haemorrhage, but he did have a haematoma in the centre of his thorax. It was drained, but his condition was very critical,” said Previgliano, who said the wound had “prevented oxygen from getting to his heart.”

He described the injuries as “extremely serious and deadly.”



News of Barbieri’s senseless death shocked the nation. Images from the aftermath of the attack, captured by security cameras both inside and outside the Cremolatti ice cream store, played out across local television news channels and social media on Thursday repeatedly. 

In the footage, Barbieri can be seen staggering to the store. Upon arrival, he pleads for assistance with staff. Witnesses who were inside the establishment at the time said the victims told them: “I don’t want to die.” 

Moments later, officers from the Communa 14 Police Station arrive to find the victim lying on the floor with a serious wound on his chest.

Despite the pain, Barbieri managed to tell police that someone had taken his mobile phone and then stabbed him with a knife. Shop assistants confirmed that the man had entered from the street asking for help.

A customer tries to assist Barbieri, while one of the four shop assistants calls the emergency services. Minutes later an ambulance arrives and the victim is rushed to Hospital Fernández, where he ultimately died.


New father

Barbieri was a civil engineer and played professional handball. His local club played tribute to him in a message on social media.

“Unfortunately, Mariano lost his life during a crime last night. I hope they find the people responsible for this murder. We would all prefer to remember him on the pitch with his typical personality. Our support and condolences go out to Mariano’s family and loved ones,” read the message posted by the Sociedad Alemana de Gimnasia de los Polvorines.
It was also revealed that Barbieri had recently become a father. His partner, Mel Honley, posted a goodbye message on Instagram that was quickly picked up by local media. 

“I’ll love you until the day I die. Please give me strength to raise our child who will always know that his dad was a crazy guy who lived life to the fullest. You are and always will be the love of my life,” she wrote.


Candidates comment

Coming on the eve of the beginning of campaigning for Argentina's general elections on October 22, leading candidates were quick to comment on the tragedy.

untos por el Cambio presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich posted on social media: "Once again, the pain. Mariano was 42 years old, had a life, a wife and a four-month-old son. All of that was taken from him last night by someone who stole his mobile phone.”

Bullrich, who has made insecurity a prime campaign issue, vowed to “improve security throughout the country so that this does not happen again.”

For his part, La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate Javier Milei remarked in a radio interview that Argentina is in a "process of decadence in the last 100 years, which is not only economic", but also "moral." He added: "It makes life worthless."

Leandro Santoro, the ruling coalition’s candidate for mayor of opposition-controlled Buenos Aires City, slammed insecurity in the capital, charging that: "Nobody is governing the city.”



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