Argentina was shocked by the abrupt death of photojournalist Jos Luis Cabezas, which the police claimed was an accident. The man who was last seen photographing a party in Pinamar was unexpectedly discovered dead in a pit outside of town. His coworkers were aware that there was more to the story than what the police had initially stated in their statement, which claimed that he had passed away in an accident. As a photojournalist, Cabezas revealed the reality of those who wished to keep it secret, raising suspicions that murder was taking place. The documentary The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar focuses on the political killing of Cabezas in democratic Argentina, where he was killed for carrying out his duty.
The Photographer: Murder In Pinamar Summary: What Is The Documentary About?
Jos Luis Cabezas’ friend and coworker Gabriel Michi recalls his memories of that summer of 1997. He was in Pinamar that morning with Cabezas; the two of them had covered a gala celebration the night before. Around four in the morning, Michi wanted to leave, but Cabezas wished to linger. Michi last saw his friend at that particular moment. Cabezas enjoyed going to parties, and he had a terrific time the night of January 25, 1997, before being taken away.
Argentina at the time was seduced by extravagance and luxury. The politicians indulged in keeping an upscale taste while taking pleasure in their money. Such a carefree way of living was supported by President Carlos Menem. Argentina’s fashion capital was then quickly taking shape in Pinamar. For all politicians and businesses, it was the place to be. Most people found it strange that Cabezas died suddenly and soon after leaving Pinamar. He didn’t learn about the collision until he contacted the police and mentioned that he was operating a white Ford Fiesta. The cops only provided a very brief and ambiguous report. Michi was brought to the General Madariaga pit where the burned-out automobile was discovered. After seeing the dreadful situation, Michi asked Cabezas about his camera. The cops reported not finding it. A few burned film rolls, a Texan boot, a watch, and some handcuffs were also discovered. Michi learned that Cabezas was handcuffed before being killed only then. The conclusion that the police came to is refuted by this revelation.
What possible motive could there have been for putting the photojournalist for Noticias magazine in handcuffs and then brutally killing him? It turned out to be the most important query. The journalists were asked by President Menem not to label the murder as a political crime. He explained how the situation affected all of Buenos Aires. Governor Duhalde, meanwhile, wanted the case to be thoroughly investigated because he planned to run for president, and the murder of Cabezas terrified him to death since he knew he could easily be the next victim. It was determined following the autopsy that Cabezas had been shot in the head and later burned inside the vehicle.
At the time, Cabezas was developing his photographic aesthetic. He frequently used high-angle photography so that viewers might get a sense of the power dynamics in the scene. Photographers lamented his passing and sought accountability. A similar gathering gave rise to the idea of cameras raised, which went on to become well-known and significant.
Why The Police Had Their Doubt About The Case? Who Was Yabr n?
When it became clear that the police made no attempt to look into the issue, eyebrows were raised. And there was a good reason for it—Cabezas was a contributor to the Noticias news article Damned police. The story cast doubt on the efficiency of the Buenos Aires police, whose members owned luxurious automobiles, yachts, and even a Beverly Hills home. Cabezas captured the primary image of Police Chief Klodczyk; a high-angle shot was taken to highlight another position of authority.
In the meantime, Michi was questioned by the Dolores Investigation Brigade regarding all of the investigations they had worked on. The first one, which took place in the Ara Pacis Hotel, was mentioned. Yabr n was the owner of the hotel. In Argentina, hardly one discussed Alfredo Yabrán; it was almost as if it were taboo. The journalists were aware that they shouldn’t mess with Yabrn, but it almost turned into a problem for Noticias to discover the unknown. Yabrn was a family-oriented Syrian man. His relatives ran a company. He began conducting business during the military dictatorship and kept in touch with people even when a democratic government was in power. Even within the government and the Catholic Church, he had ties. Although he had a unique relationship with the Air Force, nothing was known about his business. Noticias began looking into him and released an article with what little they knew in an effort to spark conversation about this mysterious individual. During the 1990s, he was the most significant business figure in Argentina. He had a private email account through OCA, bank clearance through OCASA, fiscal warehouses with the company EDCADASSA for all the airports in the nation, including Ezeiza Airport, and he loaded and unloaded planes through the company Intercargo. Even duty-free stores were under his supervision, so anything that arrived in Argentina had to go through the Yabran machine. The monopolisation of Yabr’s postal service was brought up by Cavallo, Minister of Economics, and it quickly turned into a significant political debate. By that time, Yabr had created a state within a state where he had a great deal of authority and influence, to the point where politicians started to worry about it. Cavallo soon quit the government as a result of a disagreement with Menem. He eventually joined Duhalde in politics.
When Cabezas took a photo of Yabrn, who had avoided the camera up until that point, the issue heated up. He had already said that photographing him was like shooting him in the forehead. Cabezas had done precisely that; having researched Yabr n’s whereabouts, he was aware of the man’s location in Pinamar that summer. Yabr n’s photograph was used as the magazine’s cover, making him widely recognised.
The Photographer: Murder In Pinamar Ending Explained: Who Murdered Jose Luis Cabezas?
Duhalde had been approached by Senator Martinez, who was anxious to speak with him. At his property, they first met. The senator stated that his chauffeur had divulged information about the killer of Cabezas. They managed to get him to speak, and they recorded the exchange. The defendants were four members of the gang known as Los Hornos. They admitted their crimes after being apprehended. They admitted that they were carrying out Gustavo Prellezo’s instructions. Prellezo was a La Plata-based police officer. He had been the deputy police chief of the Pinamar police. The accusation spread to other police officers who collaborated with Prellezo. The police officer rented an apartment for the gang and identified the target for them. They started sharing vital pieces of information that could only be known by those who committed the crime. They said that Prellezo had shot Cabezas twice in the head, and a re-autopsy confirmed their claim.
Now the question is, what was Prellezo s motive in murdering Cabezas? His schedule revealed that he had contact with Yabr n. With the help of a computerized system, the police were able to deduce how the two were connected. The call list indicated that he was in constant contact with a number that was registered under Bridress. Bridress was a security company that was the parent of all the security companies in the Yabr n group. The number was used by Gregorio Rios, the head of Yabr n home security. He was mostly in contact with the Pinamar police, and on the last day, they exchanged an incredible number of calls; after the crime, they stopped calling each other.
It was also discovered that Yabr n was in constant contact with the Ministry of Justice, individual judges, and even the President himself. Yabr n wanted a quiet summer in 1997, and by quiet, he meant a summer free of journalists, referring to the pictures that were taken the previous year that disrupted his life. Therefore, he decided to end the life of Cabezas. When an arrest warrant was released for Yabr n, he locked himself in a room and shot himself dead. He took his life before getting arrested by the police. He wrote a note stating his innocence. It was deduced that Cabezas was followed while he was returning home from the party. After he reached his house, he was kidnapped. He was tortured on the way, as the autopsy revealed. He was handcuffed and shot twice. He was locked in his car, and it was set ablaze in the pit.
All the convicts were given life sentences, but none remained in prison any longer. The Los Hornos gang left the prison between 2004 and 2007, taking advantage of the sentence reduction law 2X1 . The police officers had received life sentences without parole, but they were provided with criminal benefits and, eventually, they too were released from prison. When Prezello was released on parole in 2017, it was upon persistent complaints by Cabezas s family that Prezello was not allowed to rejoin the workforce after his release. The murder of Jos Luis Cabezas is one of the many political crimes that are committed against journalists all over the world. A journalist who exposes the truth about the operations of the underworld is never accepted by the powerful. What is worse is how the criminals were released even after they disregarded the democratic rights of a citizen.
The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar is a 2022 Crime Documentary film streaming on Netflix.