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ARGENTINA | 06-08-2020 17:13

Search for Facundo Castro: Mother says she has no hope of finding him alive

Cristina Castro says she has "no hope" her son will be found alive, as investigators uncover items in search for missing 22-year-old.

The search for missing 22-year-old Facundo Astudillo Castro continues, with local reports saying investigators have found items in the search for him.

Castro has been missing since April 30, last seen walking along Route 3 between Pedro Luro and Bahía Blanca when he was detained by Buenos Aires provincial police officers in Mayor Buratovich.

His whereabouts are still unknown, as they have been for the last 100 days, but according to reports, investigators found a rucksack, bones and clothing midweek near Route 3, bizarrely following the tips of a clairvoyant.

However, on Wednesday there were doubts that the objects found truly belonged to the youth, while the bones were said to be an animal’s, probably a cow.

There was a more significant find earlier in the week when an amulet given to Astudillo Castro by his grandmother (a cow’s mouth with the words “I love you” in English inscribed inside) was found at a provincial police precinct in the nearby town of Villarino on Monday.  

Meanwhile, the missing youth’s mother Cristina Castro, who went to the spot identified by the clairvoyant, sounded a gloomy note when she said: "I have no hope of his being found alive. My mother’s heart says that my son is no longer alive. Justice is slow and poor for those of us looking for our children" in statements to radio El Destape.

Calling for the arrest of four policemen linked to the youth’s detention for violating quarantine on the last day of April (the last time he was seen alive), Castro, who works as a cleaning lady at a service station, appealed to the police to return her son in whatever form “because he is mine, not theirs.”  

Nevertheless, she asked the forensic division of the Federal Police and the Coast Guard to carry out a sweeping search of the area pinpointed by the clairvoyant. 

In further statements, she called for the resignation of Villarino Mayor (Carlos) Bevilacqua for suggesting that there could be a drug-trafficking link to Facundo’s disappearance and carried her accusations up to the Buenos Aires provincial government by saying: "I don’t understand why (provincial security minister) Sergio Berni keeps defending them (the police)."  But she praised Governor Axel Kicillof " for telephoning her three times.”

Finally, she deplored impunity in general, pointing out that her son Facundo had been a militant for several years in the Jóvenes por la Memoria human rights grouping. 

– TIMES/AFP

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