Why Do I Feel Bad When Justice Is Served?

The strange urge to feel sympathy for the devil.

Taru Anniina Liikanen
5 min readFeb 7


Photo by Andreas Fischinger on Unsplash

Yesterday morning, all of Argentina was waiting with baited breaths for a verdict.

The sigh of relief as a group of eight men in their early twenties — popularly known as “the rugbiers” for their past hobby — was condemned, was unanimous.

I sighed, too, but it didn’t feel as satisfying as I’d anticipated.

A Pattern of Violence Has a Horrible End

These eight men had been known to pick fights in their hometown of Zárate, in the Buenos Aires province, every time they went out to party. It was their favorite hobby, a way they bonded.

Until January 2020, back in that other lifetime before the lockdowns, when these young men went on summer vacation to Villa Gesell, a small coastal town about four hours from Buenos Aires.

The rugbiers followed their usual patterns of booze, weed and picking fights with others on their nights out. Until one night, they hit the jackpot.

Young student and son of immigrants Fernando Báez Sosa apparently spilled a drink on one of the rugbiers in a crowded club, and they had found their excuse. The brawl began inside, but was quickly finished by security personnel, who threw everyone out on the street.

Fernando crossed the street and went to have some ice cream with his friends, but the rugbiers stayed out, lurking. When they saw him again on the main street of the small town, they attacked.

Some of them were tasked with filming — to have some evidence to brag about —, others with keeping Fernando’s friends away. Others, the leaders, with beating him until he died.

And, as numerous witnesses remembered, they shouted racial slurs and said they would “take him home as a trophy” as they kicked him, while he was already lying on the ground, unconscious.

They Showed No Remorse

The news reached us all in the morning, as the rugbiers were being detained. All of Argentina quickly joined in on condemning the attack.



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Recovering political ghostwriter and comedian. Bad jokes my own.