Real-Life Rosario In 'The Asunta Case' Series: How Did Asunta's Mother Die? (2024)

The Asunta Case (El Casa Asunta), directed by Jacobo Martinez, makes us privy to one of the most complicated cases that the country has seen in recent times, and even after the sentence was pronounced by the court of law, there were many loose ends that could never find proper explanations. At the helm of affairs were a couple, Maria Del Rosario Porto Ortega and Alfonso Basterra. It was claimed by the examining judge in the pre-trial investigation that it was Rosario who killed her adoptive daughter, Asunta Yong Fang Basterra Porto, and that her husband actively conspired with her. The character of Rosario is based on a real-life person, though the makers have stated that they have taken certain creative liberties and presented a dramatized version of the narrative.

Spoiler Alert

Before coming to any conclusion and deciding if the couple was actually lying or not, we need to understand the kind of person Rosario was, the kind of mental health issues she was dealing with, and what could be the possible motives that led her to commit the heinous crime. It is hinted in the series that Alfonso was suffering from certain issues due to which the couple couldn’t conceive a child, but in reality, the doctors had advised Rosario to avoid pregnancy at all costs since she was suffering from Lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system in the body. Taking all the issues into consideration, the couple decided to adopt Asunta, but something happened down the line that made matters worse and probably led Rosario to make up her mind about taking her daughter’s life. It is a fact that Rosario changed her testimony time and again, which led the examining judge, Vazquez Tain, to believe that she was the criminal. Rosario, during her testimony, explicitly stated that on the day the crime was committed, she had left her daughter at home and gone to her house in Teo, Santiago, all by herself. Her words became a problem for her when the police saw on the CCTV footage of one of the roads that showed Asunta sitting next to Rosario in her car. Rosario changed her testimony once she got to know about that and later claimed that her daughter was there with her for a brief moment, after which she dropped her home. Rosario couldn’t provide any sort of evidence of what she was saying, and so the examining judge came to the conclusion that she was lying.

Rosario did something very suspicious once the examining judge and all the police officers came to search her house. She ran upstairs, and it felt like she wanted to dispose of something that was in her dustbin as if she knew that it could be used against her in the trial.

The officers did find strands of orange wire that were used to tie the hands and legs of the victim in the dustbin, but then, too, it could never be explicitly proved that Rosario was trying to dispose of that and nothing else. Another suspicious thing that Rosario did in the past was that she had not reported an incident where someone had broken into her house in the middle of the night and tried to kill her daughter. Asunta never saw the face of the man, and that’s why the law enforcement authorities theorized that maybe it was Rosario who had strangled her daughter and made it look like it was someone else.

Many times during the pre-investigating stages, the judge claimed that the couple had been preparing to commit the crime for the last couple of months. The entire break-in incident was considered to be a sort of test conducted by the couple to check the possibility of them succeeding in their endeavors. Two narratives were presented in the court of law to establish Rosario’s motives, though it is to be stated here that neither one could be proved beyond doubt till the very end. The first theory was that Rosario had committed the crime on her own accord, and then when Alfonso learned about it, he decided to help his ex-wife cover her tracks. The second possibility was that the couple conspired together, did trial and error for months, and then finally, when they were sure about it, killed the poor girl.

Talking about the first one, there was a scene in Netflix’s The Asunta Case where, after discovering about the extramarital affair that Rosario had, Alfonso lashed out at her and told her that she wouldn’t be allowed to indulge in such relationships as long as Asunta was there and that they were bound together, whether they liked it or not. Rosario was dealing with a lot of mental health issues during that period, and at times, she lost control of her actions. The entire scene where we saw her crushing the pills and mixing them into the orange juice was done in such a manner that it made us realize that, unfortunately, she didn’t have the capacity to clearly understand the consequences of her actions, and then later she went along with it because the damage had been done. Maybe those words, where Alfonso told her that the presence of their daughter bound her to him, played in her mind and she killed the little girl to get her freedom. The second theory could be that Rosario had come to know about Alfonso’s lecherous inclinations, and she was aware that he drugged her intentionally in order to satiate his lewd desires. It might have been the case that Rosario and Alfonso had gotten scared as Asunta had started speaking and giving hints about what was happening to her to various people.

The jury came to the conclusion that it was Rosario who strangled Asunta and then later disposed of the body with the help of her husband. Rosario came from a privileged background, and she had an aspirational lifestyle that so many individuals would want to have. But things went haywire down the line, and the use of lorazepam pills provided only a temporary solution. In the end, the court sentenced her to 18 years in prison, but on November 18, 2020, while in prison, Rosario took her own life. Though the court pronounced its judgment, I believe the real truth would never be known since both Rosario and Alfonso did not reveal the entire story till the very end.

Real-Life Rosario In 'The Asunta Case' Series: How Did Asunta's Mother Die? (2024)


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