At noontime on Holy Thursday, 11-year-old Rocio Barletta left their house in Barrio Ameghino, Cordoba City to buy cigarettes for her father.
She never returned.
The next day, her body was found lifeless and with burns near La Calera. Investigators suspect she was raped, strangled to death, and then partially burned to remove traces of evidence, La Voz reports.
Police arrested 26-year-old Omar Peralta on the same day. According to Dia a Dia, several witnesses pointed to him as the person who killed Rocio. Authorities are investigating whether Peralta is under the influence of drugs.
The incident made headlines all over Cordoba’s media on Friday, burying all other stories, even the city’s Holy Week traditions. In El Doce, where I’m currently an intern, a reporter followed the victim’s family all day and delivered live reports regularly.
Even to a city that is used to crimes, the news sent chills and caused a feeling of collective grief and anger. It is like how many Filipinos felt when a 14-year-old girl was raped and killed in Laguna in February, and when the same thing happened to a 7-year-old girl in Manila weeks after.
This Easter, let us pray for Rocio and all the other girls who suffered the same fate.