Axel Blumberg was on his way home from his girlfriend’s house when he was kidnapped by unknown assailants in March 2004. Blumberg, an engineering student at the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires, was taken and held for ransom. Blumberg’s kidnappers demanded 50,000 pesos for his safe return. His father agreed to pay that amount, but on March 22, 2004, Blumberg, 23, was shot and killed in a vacant lot in the La Reja de Moreno neighborhood.
People living near the house where Blumberg was held reported seeing him attempt to escape and then being beaten by his kidnappers. It was believed the local police either aided in Blumberg’s kidnapping or knew about it and did nothing to stop it. Blumberg’s murder, along with other high-profile extortive kidnappings, prompted massive demonstrations against the police and government across Argentina.
In total, 16 members of a gang run by Martín Peralta were charged with abducting and murdering Blumberg. Of the 16, 12 were convicted, but only eight were convicted in connection to Blumberg’s case. They included José Diaz, who was identified as the person who shot Blumberg. Peralta and Diaz were both sentenced to life in prison.