ADDIS ABABA, 30 December 2020 – There were spontaneous words of praise and prayerful vigils organized by fans in Addis Ababa Wednesday to get the life of Agitu Ideo Gudeta.
She is the Ethiopian refugee who was murdered at her Alpine goat farm Tuesday in Italy’s northern region of Trentino.
Excerpts from a police report from the crime scene cited by several Italian news outlets said she was “hammered to death and raped by a Ghanaian worker” while she lay dying.
The suspect is a 32-year-old Ghanaian whose names Italian police have given as Adams Suleimani.
He has been arrested and has confessed to the crime, according to the Italian police report, cited Wednesday by the Italian News Agency, ANSA.
After fleeing Ethiopia in 2010, Agitu, dead at 42, set up her goat farm, known as La Capra Felice, in Trentino.
Agitu Gudeta soon became well known and widely recognized as a symbol of integration in Italy.
Her story and success took on special meaning as many news outlets told her story, showcasing her as the example of what migrants can do for themselves and for their host country if they are given a chance to integrate and, especially, if they work hard.
Not all admired her hard work and success, and not all welcomed her.
A man who once made racial threats to her was the first person to be briefly taken into custody for questioning about her murder, according to accounts by Italian carabinieri police.
Police said they questioned and released the man after they established that he had no connection to the crime.
Suleimani was arrested overnight and taken into custody, after allegedly confessing to the rape and murder.
Agitu Gudeta fled Addis Ababa saying she feared for her life after she had participated in protests against “land grabbing”.
Her activism on the issue angered many high-ups, including some local authorities and powerful agricultural corporations.
After establishing La Capra Felice on abandoned land in Trentino, Agitu made and sold goat’s cheese and beauty products, hiring at least two other migrants to help out on the farm.
Her success was hard to miss, not only because of the media coverage of her story, but because of farm’s own success.
She started the Alpine goat farm 15 goats but grew the herd more than tenfold to 180 by 2018.
Reuters cited her in that interview as saying that she created her space in Italy and made herself known and experience no resistance from Italians who, in her words, welcomed her to Italy with open arms.