BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentines took to the streets on Wednesday to demand what they say is justice for Diego Maradona after the soccer icon’s death in November sparked investigations into how he died and whether there had been any negligence in his care.
“He did not die, they killed him!,” the organizers of the demonstration said in materials sent out on social media prior to the march. “Justice for Diego. Trial and punishment of the guilty.”
The march kicked off at the emblematic Obelisco monument in central Buenos Aires, where protesters waved flags and sang songs in homage to Maradona, choking the streets around rush hour in the country’s capital.
Maradona’s ex-wife, Claudia Villafane, and two of his daughters, Dalma and Gianinna, led the early evening rally, with signs calling for social and legal justice in the case.
Maradona, a World Cup winner with Argentina who is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, attained almost godlike status in his home country despite long battles with drug and alcohol addiction and poor health.
A medical board, at the request of the justice department, met on Monday to analyze Maradona’s death. The idol, who won the 1986 World Cup, had serious health problems and was recovering from brain surgery when he died in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
Investigators are looking at whether members of Maradona’s medical team did not adequately treat the former soccer star, who played for teams around the world including Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors.
(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; writing by Dave Sherwood, Editing by Adam Jourdan, Steve Orlofsky and Toby Davis)