Real-Life Alfonso In ‘The Asunta Case’: Where Is Asunta’s Father Now?


History bears proof of the fact that many times, a legal practitioner encounters a case where, till the very end, there is no clear-cut answer, and one never comes to know who has actually committed the crime. The case of Asunta Yong Fang Basterra Porto became one such anomaly where, though a judgment was passed by the court of law, it could never actually be proved what exactly happened on that fateful day. Many cases that created a lot of waves in the media come to mind as they were somewhat similar to the Asunta case. In all these cases, it could never be ascertained what actually happened, and the jury made the decision based on perceptions created by the media, and that’s why the judgment couldn’t be said to be fair in its entirety. The case of OJ Simpson, in which the famous NFL player was charged with the murder of his wife and then later acquitted, became an enigma for the legal fraternity. Similarly, in the 2008 murder case in India, a young girl named Arushi Talvar and her housekeeper were found dead under mysterious circumstances. In either of the cases, though the court pronounced its judgment, there were a lot of loose ends. Similarly, in The Asunta Case, the parents were considered the prime suspects, and later, after a grueling trial, both of them got an 18-year-sentence. Antonio Basterra’s character in the Netflix series is inspired by a real-life person, though it could be said that the makers have taken creative liberties at certain places where they felt the need to dramatize a certain conversation or maybe interpret the character in their own manner. 

The first thing that the examining judge, Vazquez Tain, found about Alfonso was that he had bought huge quantities of a drug named lorazepam from a nearby store. When Asunta’s autopsy was done, some 20 odd lorazepam pills were found in her stomach. The obvious theory that was made by the judge was that Alfonso drugged his daughter so that he could strangle her to death. The suspicion of the law enforcement officers grew even more when Alfonso didn’t have any explanation as to why he bought the drug in such a huge quantity. Alfonso said that he bought it because his ex-wife, Rosario, was suffering from many mental health issues, and because she didn’t remember to take her pills, he gave it to her. But again, Vazquez knew that explanation didn’t justify the quantity. Moreover, Asunta’s teachers informed the authorities that many times, the girl said that she felt dizzy because of a white powder that her parents gave her on a regular basis. One of Asunta’s classmates also came forward and told the authorities that just a day before her murder, she saw Asunta walking with one of her parents in an inebriated state. 

There were a few explicit pictures found on Alfonso’s phone, and the prosecutor wanted to prove the fact that he was a pedophile who abused his daughter after drugging her. I will agree that anybody who saw the pictures without any context would have found it to be a bit awkward, but still, that didn’t prove the fact beyond a reasonable doubt that the father abused his daughter. There was semen found on Asunta’s shirt, and Vazquez really hoped that it belonged to Alfonso. But when the forensics report came out, the name of Carlos Muriolla came up, who had been accused of certain crimes before. Later, it was found out that Carlos had a very strong alibi and that it was some goof-up by the forensics experts. So, that lead also did not provide any solid breakthrough to the prosecution, and once again, they were left in the dark. Vazquez theorized that because Asunta had started speaking about what her parents were doing, Rosario and Alfonso both decided that it was in their best interest that they killed their daughter. Now, according to this theory, Rosario knew that her ex-husband was sexually abusing their daughter, and for some reason she let that happen. Now, this is where I feel like the prosecution wasn’t able to connect the dots properly, and there were a lot of things that could not be explained. 

The second theory put forth by the prosecution was that it was probably Rosario who drugged and killed their daughter, and then once Alfonso came to know about it, he helped her dispose of the body and remove the evidence. It was stated that Alfonso probably did that because he knew that Rosario had a lot of wealth to her name and that he could have a share in that at a later stage. Alfonso was a journalist, and he didn’t have a very successful career. In one of the scenes, we saw him asking for money from his father, and the incident told us that his financial condition was not too great and he was barely making ends meet. But this theory, too, had its flaws, and nothing conclusive came out of it. 

It is true that Alfonso came to know about his wife’s affair, and he really felt insecure and angry after that. They had already separated, but Alfonso was not ready to leave her at any cost. Probably, Rosario felt that if she removed the common link between them, i.e., their daughter, then she wouldn’t be bound to do as he said. I believe that there was something that Alfonso was hiding, and maybe his lawyer, Elena Garrido, intuitively got to know about it. She asked him not to go for the joint defense, and advised him that if he had anything against Rosario, then he should inform the court of law about it. Elena put Alfonso in a difficult spot during the cross-examination, but the man didn’t budge, and that’s when the jury pronounced its judgment, according to which Alfonso was sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiring with Rosario in the crime. 

Alfonso maintained his stance till the very end that he had nothing to do with the murder of his daughter, and I would like to say here that though he was not able to prove his innocence completely, even the prosecutors were not able to establish his guilt with a lot of conviction. There were loose ends, and probably the media had a huge role to play in the scheme of things, but in the end, the court gave a judgment that was deemed fit and fair, and one has to comply with it. 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This