Argentinian Prosecutor Fernando Cartasegna Found Beaten, Tied and Gagged in His Office

Sofia Lotto Persio

An Argentinian prosecutor was found tied up in his office Wednesday evening, the victim of a violent attack for the second time in less than a week.

An unknown assailant entered District Attorney Fernando Cartasegna’s office through a window and hit him in the back before throwing the official to the floor and tying his hands and feet with a phone cord. Cartasegna was also gagged.

He was found about half an hour later. "The prosecutor was able to make a phone call but he did not speak," said Buenos Aires Attorney General Julio Conte Grand, quoted in the Argentinian daily newspaper La Nacion.

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A demonstrator holds a placard calling for "Justice" during a silent march in Buenos Aires commemorating prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in January 2015. District Attorney Fernando Cartasegna was beaten repeatedly and received threats calling him "the next Nisman". Juan Mamromata/AFP/Getty Images

The attacker also threatened Cartasegna’s family and spelled out the word “Nisman” with sugar on his desk before leaving—a reference to federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in January 2015 after he accused then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up details about the country’s worst terrorist attack.

Cartasegna has investigated pedophilia and prostitution networks, but has been the victim of two violent attacks since he took on his current inquiry into police corruption and collusion with drug dealers and brothel owners.

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Last weekend, Cartasegna said he was beaten by two men and a woman dressed in old police uniforms. Posters depicting him as “the next Nisman" also appeared in his office building.

“I'm not a brave man, but I'm not afraid, they're a bunch of idiots," Cartasegna told radio station La Red on Tuesday. “They should know that if it is not me, it will be another one of my colleagues. Many called me yesterday. If it was so easy [to intimidate prosecutors], all the investigations would end,” he added.

The prosecutor, who is based in the city of La Plata near Buenos Aires, has now been granted special police protection.

Police corruption is a major security challenge for Buenos Aires province, which is the country’s largest district and employs 93,000 officers. In April, governor Maria Eugenia Vidal announced compulsory drug tests for all officers. Since she came to power less than 18 months ago, her crackdown on police has resulted in almost 4,300 officers dismissed from the force and 362 others detained for a variety of offences, El Pais reported.

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