Thursday, August 21, 2014

Argentina: Update--Three of Pope Francis' Relatives Killed in Collision in Cordobá

According The Latin American Tribune, the truck driver involved in the accident that killed three of Pope Francis’ relatives was charged with aggravated manslaughter on Wednesday (August 20) by a prosecutor in Cordobá, judicial officials said.

Raúl Pombo was charged by prosecutor Monica Biandrate so she can prepare her case and “fully exercise the right to a defense, which is constitutionally the most important,” said spokesmen for the prosecutor’s office in Oliva, a city in Cordobá province.

“This is the time in the investigation when the technical skills are decisive” and the prosecutor is “charging him so he and his attorney can participate” in the process and later state “what the facts are from his point of view,” the judicial officials said.

COMMENT: Pombo was charged with aggravated manslaughter because of the number of victims in the accident, but it does not mean that the truck driver “is being considered responsible” for the crash or will spend time in prison, the prosecutor’s office spokesmen said.

Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, the pope’s nephew, and his family were involved in an accident early Tuesday (August 19).

The family’s automobile collided with a truck that was ahead of them on a highway in Cordobá province, killing Bergoglio’s wife, Valeria Carmona, 36, and the couples’ sons, José and Antonio.

The accident occurred in the early morning hours at kilometer 594 of the highway that links the cities of Rosario and Cordobá, located in central Argentina, near the town of Villa Maria.

The Bergoglio Family was returning to its Buenos Aires residence after a vacation.

Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio is the son of one of Pope Francis’ brothers.

Pope Francis was informed of the accident and was deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of his relatives, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.