In a turn of events on Friday, Elián Ángel Valenzuela, the celebrated cumbia artist popularly recognized as L-Gante, will not be returning to pre-trial detention. The singer stands accused of an alarming incident involving his neighbor, Darío Torres.
Reports suggest that following a nightclub disagreement, L-Gante allegedly forced Torres into a vehicle at gunpoint, marking just one of several allegations levied against the musician. Though the appeals court had previously ruled in favor of overturning the artist's release and some legal voices, including the plaintiffs' counsel, had vehemently called for his immediate arrest, Judge Gabriel Castro’s decision was unyielding.
The judicial chambers have been filled with discussions about the singer's fate since his initial arrest in June. Among the accusations are kidnapping and threatening Torres, abducting Torres’ mother, Rosa Passi, holding illicit drugs, and possessing stolen assets.
L-Gante's Temporary Reprieve
L-Gante had experienced over three months of pre-trial confinement in Quilmes’ Departmental Investigations Delegation before tasting freedom on September 9th. Judge Castro's latest pronouncement came on the heels of a fervent plea by Torres' legal representatives, Leonardo Sigal and Pablo Becerra.
While acknowledging the appeals court's decision, Castro highlighted that no further action would be taken until the verdict was cast in stone. Speaking on behalf of L-Gante, his counsel, Diego Storto, articulated that the court's ruling means his client cannot face custody until a definitive decision from the Cassation Tribunal.
Notably, Torres' legal team also expressed their intent to fully support the trial's request, echoing sentiments shared earlier by the case's prosecutor, Raul Villalba. The Case's Backdrop: On a fateful night in May, Torres, a resident of General Rodríguez, Buenos Aires province and a neighbor to L-Gante's family, filed a police complaint.
He detailed a nightclub altercation with L-Gante's affiliates, colloquially known as “the Mafily”. Post-conflict, Torres claims he and his family were assaulted at their home by Mafily members. Subsequent events took an even darker turn.
Urban Guard officials intervening in the scene were reportedly threatened by L-Gante himself. Allegedly wielding a firearm, L-Gante coerced Torres into a vehicle, menacingly warning him against any negative comments about the "Mafily." The saga reached its zenith when, after the arrest of some "Mafily" members, L-Gante, in a bold move, approached law enforcement, demanding their release in exchange for Torres' safety.
However, with fresh testimonies coming to light that might contradict the initial narrative, L-Gante's legal team has successfully managed to secure his temporary release in September. The entire music community, and indeed the nation, awaits further developments in this high-profile case.