Thursday, October 06, 2011

Argentina: Impostor Spreads Rumors About Monte Grande

[It seems that we will never able to achieve closure of any kind with the Monte Grande /Esteban Echeverria incident that has dominated the Argentinean chronicles of the unusual for the past few weeks. Alejandro Agostinelli draws our attention to a new wrinkle in the story: many of the statements issued in the media were made by an impostor masquerading as a fireman. -- SC]

Bogus Firefighter Spreading Rumors Obtained Media Attention
By Alejandro Agostinelli
Wednesday, 0ctober 5, 2011

Héctor Facundo Ayala, bearing a volunteer firefighter's badge, managed to be heard out by such media outlets as the Perfil newspaper and others that published his statements, furthering speculation that "something strange" had happened in the 9 de Abril district in Monte Grande, Esteban Echeverria, on Monday, September 26, 2011.

Statements made by Ayala:

1. "I found a crater measuring a meter wide and a meter and a half deep from which fire emerged continuously. We doused with water, but it wouldn't go out," said Ayala.

2. "I never saw anything like it. It's like someone had driven a fist into the ground. There was a lot of smoke coming out and a reek of sulfur."

3. "The temperature of the ground was very high; it burned my feet."

4. "When the municipality sent its excavators, they removed the debris and covered the crater."

With regard to these statements, Guillermo E. Pérez, Commander of the Esteban Echeverría Fire Brigade, replied:

1. "Ayala is a FORMER fireman who was dismissed a year and a half ago."

2. He wasn't a member of any of the six crews, because he does NOT belong to the Esteban Echeverría Fire Department.

3. He is talking to all possible media outlets without any basis. What this person is saying is at his own initiative.

4. It so happens that he lives a few blocks away from where the explosion took place.

5. The only person with the responsibility and authorization to issue statements to the media is the Fire Chief, and that would be me.

6. He was at the site like any other local resident.

7. I have informed the Commissioner of the Malvinas Detachment to summon him and obtain a statement about what he has said, and to act in accordance with the law.

8. He was a Fireman for only 5 years, with very limited participation. I do not know or understand the reasons for which he made such statements.

9. The Fire Brigade exists to serve the community with no personal interest on the part of its members, or political tendencies, or financial expectations. We only serve our beloved Esteban Echeverría administrative area.

10. Concerning his statements, they are FALSE. I repeat: FALSE."