The circumstances surrounding Emanuel Alvarez’s death whilst travelling to see Vélez Sársfield take on San Lorenzo in the Nuevo Gasometro are being slowly pieced together. In the last two-and-a-half days there has been, though, no shortage of disagreement about who exactly the killer was – an Huracán barra? A San Lorenzo ‘fan’? Or a lone gunman further off than first thought, who had nothing to do with the match or any teams?
Whilst on their way to the car park of San Lorenzo’s stadium, the Vélez fans’ coach convoy had to pass alongside La Quemita, the headquarters of San Lorenzo’s local rivals Huracán. Initial reports in Olé stated that at this point, some coaches had been ‘ambushed by a group identified with El Globo [Huracán].’ Why Huracán’s barra (or any other group affiliated with the club) would do this prior to a match not involving their team wasn’t clear – Huracán didn’t even play until their match against Boca the following evening – but this at any rate was the early hypothesis.
A few hours later, two conflicting reports came out. Eduardo Capucheti, the Head of Security at Vélez, told reports that, contrary to earlier suppositions, ‘[The bullet] didn’t come from La Quemita. It came from behind there, from some fields. It seems that there was a guy there who was shooting at the floor, and the gun went off unexpectedly.’ In the same article, though, a fan giving her name as Alejandra, who claimed to have been in the coach behind Alvarez’s, said she saw the situation differently;
‘The killer was wearing a San Lorenzo shirt. He got out of a white car and let off a shot… after the shot there were stones thrown, one of them hit me.’
So, three versions of the killer: a San Lorenzo-supporting killer? A member of Huracán’s barra? Or a not-entirely-innocent (he had a gun, after all) man whose aim was off? Two things all reports agree on are that a gun was involved, and that in Capucheti’s words, ‘This wasn’t a fight between barras.’ Even if Huracán’s were involved, Alvarez certainly wasn’t a Vélez hoolie.
The latest on this is Minister of Justice Aníbal Fernández’s statement on Monday. ‘This was a criminal act that had nothing to do with sport,’ he begun, both rightly and wrongly depending on which way you look at it. ‘There was no sort of uproar [beforehand], confrontation or anything like that… what’s the story we can uncover behind all this? The only thing so far is that there’s a murderer who sent a bullet into the chest of a [21-year-old] kid.’
Fernández went on to add that there would be no ‘witch hunt’ in the forces of the police or the sporting security authorities, and refused categorically to compare the shooting with last August’s murder of River barra Gonzalo Acro. ‘Please, they’re totally different cases,’ the minister opined.
The stabbing of the still un-named Boca fan on Sunday wasn’t fatal, of course, but together with the seemingly accidental shooting of ‘Sabrina’ on Friday night prior to the clásico salteño in Argentino B, the total dead after football-related incidents in Argentina now stands at 224. Will these people see sense, at some point?