Wednesday, November 29

Plácido Domingo has links for at least 26 years with the sect that is being investigated for trafficking in Argentina

Plácido Domingo has had links for 26 years with at least four leaders of the Buenos Aires Yoga School (EYBA) sect. Two are detained, one is a fugitive and the other died four years ago. On February 20, 1996, the tenor gave a concert at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Buenos Aires. That night there were some changes in the program. Sunday closed the show with the opera marked cardscomposed by Susana Mendelievich, known as Mendy and historical member of the organization, and Rubén D’Artagnan González, a renowned violinist who, according to the complainant, would have opened the Chicago branch of the EYBA sect. The closing of that concert was in a duet with Verónica ‘Loia’ Iácono, at that time a lyrical debutant, and today wanted by Interpol for having participated in the organization in the United States. The fourth member of the sect with whom the tenor had a relationship is Luis Percowicz, the leader.

According to the case, at least seven women were sexually exploited and incorporated into the coercive organization by their families when they were still children or adolescents. Justice has three audios in which it is mentioned that an artist named “Plácido” requests sexual services from the organization. They identified the voice of Susana Mendelievich, 75 years old, and Juan Percowicz, 84 years old, community leader. Both were arrested a week ago. The third voice would be that of the tenor and conductor from Madrid, 81, who visited Buenos Aires in April to give a concert at the Teatro Colón after two decades without setting foot on Argentine soil.

elDiarioAR has consulted several sources with access to the file and has confirmed that the audios were obtained from wiretaps carried out in the last four months. And it also established contact between the tenor and the organization through the complaint made in the Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons Prosecutor’s Office (Protex), testimonies of the complainants and data crossing. This information published in the newspaper La Nación gives an account of that recital offered 26 years ago at the Campo Argentino de Polo. Placido Domingo thanked the violinist Rubén D’Artagnan González for his participation in the show. That year, Domingo was named distinguished citizen of the City of Buenos Aires.

Last year, Mendelievich and Iácono, whose stage name is Loiácono and in the organization called her “Loia”, released an unreleased album, Por amor al amor. The women —one detained and the other a fugitive— are part of the quartet LGKM. They are the initials of his names and those of González —distinguished by the Konex Foundation in 1989— and Mariano Krawczyk, an oboist who used the surname Krauz. He is the stepfather of Pablo Salum, the 44-year-old man who last year again denounced the sect in the Argentine Justice. Krauz was part of EYBA. He entered the community with the intention of “rescue” his partner, Salum’s biological mother. He did not make it and left the organization on good terms. He was arrested last week along with 18 other people. There are also eight fugitives: four would be outside of Argentina.

Krauz was something like a “son” of Rubén D’Artagnan González, who was born in Viale, in the Argentine province of Entre Ríos, in 1939. At the age of five he learned to play the violin. He studied in France and Italy, and in 1964 obtained the Diploma of Honor from the Chigiana Academy, in Siena, Italy. In Argentina, he conducted the Camerata Bariloche from 1971 to 1975. Two years later, he settled in the United States and conducted the strings of the Minnesota Orchestra until 1981. Between that year and 1986, he conducted the Houston Orchestra. In 1986 he moved to Chicago and conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. According to Salum, he is the founder and head of the sect’s branch in Chicago.

In 2005 they wanted to reward González as “outstanding Vialense”, his birth town, but despite their attempts they could not locate him. They even tracked him down through the Argentine embassy in the United States, but no one could find him. During the ceremony in Viale they mentioned his name and his extensive resume, but no one received the statuette. In April, when Plácido Domingo visited Buenos Aires, González had been dead for four years. The contacts between the tenor and the Escuela Yoga Buenos Aires were still intact, according to the investigators.