The Yogi sect: prosecutors ask for 40 years for the main defendant for reduction to servitude

Zyri News/April 11, 2022

Arguments continue in the case of the yogi sect, an organization accused of reducing to servitude and sexually exploiting and laboring more than 30 people.

In the allegations of this Monday, the prosecutors Carlos Fioriti and Fabián Celiz they asked for 40 years in prison for the main defendant, Silvia Capossiello, partner of the former leader who died in prison, Eduardo Nicosia.

They also requested sentences of 27 years for Sinecio Coronado Acurero and 17 for Luis Fanesi. The crimes for which they are chargedon: human trafficking, fraud, sexual abuse and reduction to servitude. In addition, Campossielo is accused of resisting authority and possession of firearms.

Burns, whipping, cold showers, kicks, drowning in a toilet, and rape were some of the tortures reported last Monday during the closing arguments of the trial.

Capossiello, Coronado Acurero and Fanesi are accused of being part of an organization that operated in the Hotel City, located at Alberdi 2561, in the heart of Mar del Plata.

The sect used a “process of psychological coercion and isolation of the victims, typical of sectarian organizations, based on the psychological manipulation imposed on them”.

The criminal organization operated in Venezuela and Argentina from the early 1970s until its dismantling in July 2018.

There, people were captured “interested in the spiritual”, then they “exploited them sexually and at work” and asked them to “deliver goods and money.” Furthermore, they were subjected to “a process of depersonalization” that prevented them from making their own decisions.

On Monday the 25th, the defense of the defendants, who are serving preventive detention in units of the Federal Penitentiary Service, must present their closing statement.

A fourth defendant at the start of the trial, psychologist Fernando Ezequiel Velázquez, died weeks ago while serving preventive detention.

The stories of the victims

The testimonies described by the Prosecutor’s Office describe the horror experienced by the people who were subjected to the sect. The stories of the children that the leader had with some of the members and with Caposiello were highlighted, who assured that they were “captive bred”

Among various stories, one of the victims said that she lived “always locked up” and suffered “punishments and beatings” for 46 years until she managed to escape for fear that her daughter would be sexually abused.

According to what the prosecution reported, the people were “trained like dogs”they ate “saccharin shoe polish” or “balanced food for rabbits”.

They were also hung from windows, they drowned him “with your head in the toilet” and throwing them down the stairs. One of the victims said that “acupuncture clamps” were applied to their teeth and electricity was applied to their genitals.

Besides, “they told them that pain did not exist, that it was an illusion”, that “to the outside, everything that happened in the sect must seem normal”, that the leader was “a spiritual guru”, a “be evolved” and including the “reincarnation of Jesus Christ” and for that reason the beatings were “a blessing”.

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