The week that started on Monday, April 19, was a very busy one in Venezuela, especially on social networks as a massive movement of complaints about several cases of sexual abuse, statutory rape and even rape that targeted different members of the national cultural scene, was uncovered.
It was a specific rape complaint against Alejandro Sojo, vocalist of the band Los Colores, which started everything. The accusation was made via Instagram through the account @alejandrosojoestupro, which was created especially for victims to raise their voices through this platform. What followed then was a whole wave of accusations.
By pointing out the same crime to Sojo himself, more victims appeared as the days passed, all indicating that this type of behavior was recurrent, especially with minors. In addition, Murachi Palomo, a friend of the singer and an accomplice, was also accused of committing sexual abuse.
The names of Tony Maestracci, drummer of the Tomates Fritos band, Leonardo Jaramillo (Kamarón), Okills guitarist, Daniel Landaeta, drummer of the Le’Cinema band, or Juan Carlos Ogando, director and co-founder of the Skena Actoral Group, were also exposed, as well as cases that point to figures from the university, politics, sports, among other areas, although without names.
#YoSíTeCreo, the #MeToo of Venezuela
The #MeToo movement began in the United States as a result of film producer Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual abuse revelations. And it was so shocking that it soon encompassed the entire planet, including Venezuela, thanks to the organization of the victims themselves.
In the specific case of what happened recently in networks in the country, another movement was generated, the #YoSíTeCreo, in response to the indifference against these cases of abuse. It also started with the Instagram account @AlejandroSojoEstupro, and like the whole context, it grew to dominate social trends.
The Alejandro Sojo and Willy Mckey case
Allegations of abuse by various public figures were answered to a greater and lesser extent by the accused. Alejandro Sojo, for example, admitted to having committed statutory rape and having requested and had sexual relations with a minor. Leonardo Jaramillo, for his part, published a statement in which he did not admit the facts, but did say that he was working on his attitude.
Another who spoke was Tony Maestracci, although he dismissed the accusations against him as defamation. However, he announced his resignation from Tomates Fritos. Those who did speak out and very clearly were all the defendants’ bands and workplaces, promptly siding with the victims and announcing everything from separations to contract breakdowns.
Willy McKey case
The loudest case of the #YoSíTeCreo movement involved the poet, writer and storyteller Willy Mckey, who was accused of having sex with a teenage girl about six years ago. The victim, who also spoke through networks under a protected identity, denounced that the artist exercised his position of power to achieve his mission.
Mckey admitted on his Instagram that he committed statutory rape (having sexual relations with minors), and affirmed that he would know how to take charge of the consequences of his actions, starting by being left out of all his work projects. While he announced that, the Prodavinci portal, the Team Poetero, Autores Venezolanos and La Poeteca rejected the crimes.
The Attorney General of the Republic, Tarek William Saab, became involved in this case, as well as in the other complaints, and announced that the Public Ministry would open investigations against Alejandro Sojo, Tony Maestracci and Mckey himself.
However, Willy McKey took action first and, this past Thursday, April 29, took his own life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he resided. The information of his suicide spread as rumor at first, and was later confirmed by local journalists. Official versions indicate that McKey jumped into the void from a ninth floor of a building on Córdoba Avenue in the Recoleta neighborhood.
The writer left one last message on Twitter: “Don’t be this. It grows inside and kills you. I’m sorry”. That would be his suicide note.