A young army officer choked to death on vomit after allegedly being forced to gulp down alcohol in a "hazing" initiation ritual.
22-year-old Second Lieutenant Matias Ezequiel Chirino's died early Sunday morning following a ceremony to commemorate his joining of the new regiment.
Autopsy Revealed Death Caused by Consuming Large Amounts of Alcohol
An autopsy confirmed his cause of death as bronchial aspiration caused by the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. 11 officers have been suspended following Chirino's death.
Grieving dad Ezequiel Chirino said his son had been forced to drink booze and throw himself into a pool at night in the cold, among other abuses. "He was killed, without a doubt. It was not an accident," he said, calling it "an abuse of authority," adding that those responsible "must go to jail."
Matias was one of three officers being initiated into Artillery Group No. 3 based in Paso de los Libres, on the border with Brazil. The other two initiates are among the 11 suspended officers.
'Come and Get Him Because He's Dead'
Ezequiel had taken his son to his admission to the army unit and was staying in a hotel in the town when he received the devastating news.
He said: "At eight in the morning the head of the detachment calls me and says, 'Am I speaking to Matias Chirino's dad? Come and get him because he's dead.'"
"With that coldness," he added.
Matias graduated from El Palomar Military College after studying for four years.He had joined the regiment in Paso de los Libres to complete his training as an officer. The army said it is cooperating with an investigation by the Federal Court of Paso de los Libres.
Last year, an RAF soldier was allegedly raped with mortar tubes as part of a sick initiation ceremony. Another French pilot was allegedly tied to a cross while jets used him as target practice for his brutal initiation. In 2020, a female recruit in the Italian air force was thrown against a plane wing and then dumped in a pool in a hazing ritual.