Carlos Manus

The monument. The little hand that Gardel gave after his death

inally the city of Buenos Aires has repaired its delay of 65 years by placing a monument in memory of Carlos Gardel, an inexplicable delay because the greatest Argentine singer has an homage in stone or in bronze in nearly all the countries of Latin America, even in those he did not visit.

It is worthwhile remembering that, soon after the tragic death of the Zorzal Criollo happened, people asked Mariano de Vedia y Mitre, then Mayor of the city of Buenos Aires, to put Carlos Gardel's name to a small square in the Capital of the city, to what he refused alleging that Gardel had a record in the police files.

Paradoxically, Vedia y Mitre was Mayor of the city of Buenos Aires during the government of president Agustín P. Justo, who had no shame in using Gardel's death to distract public attention from the assassination of Enzo Bordabehere, National Senator for the province of Santa Fe, by Valdés Cora, former police officer and hired killer of the establishment.

The bullet was in reality for Lisandro de la Torre, also National Senator for the province of Santa Fe, to silence his appeal to the Executive power for the affair of the establishments of congealed meat in which Luis Duhau and Federico Pinedo, ministers of Agriculture and Cattle, were involved.

Bordabehere had pushed De la Torre to save him from the attack, then the former was wounded by the deadly bullet aimed at his friend and fellow partner of the Progressist Democrat party. When Valdés Cora was arrested people rightly said «We already have the killer, now the murderer is missing». It was impossible, or there was no intention, to identify who hired Valdés Cora, even though the evidence pointed at Duhau, for whom the former worked as bodyguard.

President Justo asked his Colombian peer to delay the delivery of Gardel's remains and, with the complicity of Natalio Botana, director-owner of Crítica, this journal started a campaign to deviate public attention from the murder carried out in the middle of the Senate of the Nation by means of the publication of articles connected with the singer: La madre de Gardel, La infancia de Gardel, Los amigos de Gardel, Los amores de Gardel, etc.

After several months, and already his purpose satisfied, Justo asked the president of Colombia to bring Gardel's remains back home.

This episode is recalled by Helvio Botana, Natalio's son, in the chapter La manito que da Gardel después de muerto in his book Memorias. Tras los dientes del perro.