Who are they and how did the antispeciesists accused of burning butcher trucks in Quilicura fall?

By Nicolás Parra Tapia, Felipe Díaz Montero and Camilo Suazo.
Friday 04 November 2022 | 14:04

BBCL (Chile)
Translation to English by GoogleTranslate. Read it in Spanish here.

One by one, the detectives picked up the crumbs that the group that attacked a meat distribution center in Quilicura left on the road as they fled. From September 19 onwards, the police began to rebuild the gang’s escape route, and they have now been arrested. The security cameras and the geolocation of their phones ended up being key to finding the whereabouts of the young self-styled “anti-speciesists” who will now have to face justice.

“I do not intend to get rid of the consequences of these acts by begging for mercy or appealing to the conscience of the room, because if this system had a conscience I would not be here, in my place would be all the butchers, vivisectors and fur farmers from all over the world. ”.

The quote corresponds to the American activist for animal rights, Peter Young, and they were used in the adjudication of the arson attack that affected, on National Holidays, five butcher trucks in Quilicura.

The responsible? The investigation led by prosecutor José Morales points to four members of a vegan group arrested this Thursday. According to information collected by the BioBioChile Investigation Unit, the defendants correspond to a couple made up of Nicolás Meléndez Mac-Kenney and Itamar Díaz Castro, as well as Diego Rivas Moraga and Rodolfo Olivares Maulén.

Traffic violations, georeferencing of their cell phones the day of the attack and friendship links on social networks preceded their fall. All will be formalized for the crime of fire.

The events date back to 03:50 in the morning of September 19 of this year, when, according to the investigations of the North Central Metropolitan Prosecutor’s Office, the group set fire to five trucks of the company Carnes Susaron.

Nine days later, the attack was claimed by the Animal Response Group, on the Contra Info site.

“What summons us in this statement is to award ourselves the action of assault and fire that affected the parent refrigerator of the company that distributes dismembered corpses “Susaron” and its trucks, in the commune of Quilicura,” reads the public statement.

“We locate the objective in advance, we verify entry and exit. And no… Do not believe what the press says regarding the alleged suspects, which, apparently, leaves us as careless and unwary”, they add in the communication. The latter, in view of the facts, remains to be seen. It turns out that -according to the investigations- the defendants used their personal cars to carry out the attack.

According to sources consulted by BBCL Investiga, the first thing the Investigative Police (PDI) detectives did was review the images from the security cameras at the Susaron distribution center. Thus, they were able to verify that at 03:50 a.m. a subject with a thin build and a covered face was entering the premises.

Seconds later, a second individual carrying a black backpack and a third subject carrying a bag did the same. The last to infiltrate, at 03:51 am, was the only woman who made up the group.

She, according to background information seen by BBCL, was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt that caught the attention of investigators for its large white letters and figures.

Barely a minute later, cameras spotted one of the male individuals setting fire to trucks parked in the south portion of the compound’s parking lot. Before leaving the place, the man made sure to capture images of his actions.

Moments later, the crew was already leaving the facilities, but not before throwing pamphlets into the air with serious threats to those who work in the meat industry.

“The attack is expanding and we are growing in daring, mind and danger. Beware that the groups of intransigent anti-species belligerence are blooming like daisies. Today we attack this company, tomorrow it will be its owners and collaborators of any kind. For all of them we predict lead and shrapnel. Animal liberation without consideration with whom it crosses (sic) ahead”, reads one of the papers.

From an exhaustive analysis of images collected by at least 16 nearby security cameras, the police were able to reconstruct what was the group’s escape route. Thus, it was determined that initially they fled on foot from the scene of the event along Manuel Antonio Matta Avenue to the west, to the corner of Lo Zañartu.

It was only there, 300 meters from the site of the event, that they boarded their means of escape: a gray Hyundai model Getz vehicle that they drove for no more than 10 minutes until they reached their destination in the same district of Quilicura.

Taking into consideration all these antecedents, the circle was closing more and more. The police came to the conviction that the address where they parked the car was the same where they had previously been meeting that morning before committing the attack.

Indeed, images made it possible to determine that the Hyundai Getz arrived at the Curanipe passage in Quilicura at 01:21 a.m. and left for the Susaron plant at 03:25 a.m.

Thus, it was found that the address in question was owned by the father of Diego Rivas Moraga, one of those accused today. In addition, thanks to the contribution of information by the Autopista Central concessionaire, it was possible to verify the license plate of the car, owned by Nicolás Meléndez Mac-Kenney, who was also arrested for his alleged involvement.

In addition, as this medium was able to find out, an image captured at 01:10 a.m. on that September 19 while the vehicle was traveling on Autopista Central shows Nicolás driving with a woman, who would be his partner and is the other of those involved. : Itamar Diaz Castro.

According to what was reported by the dealership, the vehicle in which Nicolás was traveling was classified as a frequent offender, which is why there was an abundant photographic record.

Once the addresses of each of them were identified, the investigators established the identities of those involved. This allowed, in turn, to know their telephone numbers, which led to the georeferencing of mobiles. The result was practically the same as the surveillance via telemonitoring: all the cell phones of the accused were located at the scene of the event at the time the crimes were committed.

Nicolás Guillermo Meléndez Mac-Kenney is domiciled at Carlos Antúnez Street in the district of Providencia. The gray Hyundai Getz vehicle that participated in the crime is registered in his name.

According to information obtained by the BBCL, in 2011 and in 2019 Nicolás was arrested by Carabineros after leading public disorder. He was also arrested for the crime of simple threats in 2017, qualified damages and violent usurpation in 2012 and the crimes of simple theft in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2022. Finally, he was charged in 2010 after being arrested for causing damage and throwing projectiles against a refrigerator on the way to Melipilla, also in a pro-animal effort.

In his Facebook profile photo, he appears together with Itamar Llare Díaz Castro, with whom he has a romantic relationship. “Before there is nothing, after… a cataclysm, a waterfall, a shower of stars. My companion, my horizon, my ground wire, ”he wrote next to the photograph.

In the social network he mentions that he studied at the Liceo de Aplicacion and at the University of Santiago (USACh).

In his account you can see various publications that he has shared that are linked to the animal cause. “Whoever is cruel to animals cannot be a good person,” says an image that was uploaded in January 2019. A month later, he shared a case against two alleged murderers of a cat in Pudahuel. “If I didn’t greet my pet, I could shit you out of my house at the touch,” reads another post that went up in May of that same year.

Itamar, for her part, is domiciled in La Bahía de Villa Francia street, in the Estación Central commune and in 2017 she was arrested by Carabineros after being surprised with a Molotov cocktail.

In his profile picture, he has the same image as Meléndez Mac-Kenney. “I love you infinitely. Every day by your side is one more adventure, in which I embark happier than shit sxe version. The present and the future with you are a gift to me, ”says the publication.

Diego Edgardo Rivas Moraga was born on February 4, 1996 in Santiago. The young man, 26 years old, is a Chemical Execution engineer and lives in the Curanipe passage of the Quilicura commune, who registers a complaint for public disorder in 2015 and for theft in 2018.

In the description corresponding to his Facebook account, it is indicated that he studied at the Colegio Palmares and at the University of Santiago (Usach). On the same platform it is clear that he maintains a friendly relationship with Meléndez Mac-Kenney, another of the defendants in the case.

Finally, Rodolfo Olivares Maulén has an address on Abranquil street in Quinta Normal and records arrests by Carabineros for the crime of disorder in 2007 and 2013, in addition to an arrest for theft in 2015 and 2016.