“There is no doubt” that the Army killed its own officer Julio C. Gutiérrez and the police officer Dorbal Márquez on “the disastrous night” of April 21, 1974, said prosecutor for crimes against humanity Ricardo Perciballe in a brief presented on August 5 before the justice.
That morning a military party unsuccessfully tried to capture Tupamaro Washington Barrios. Instead, the procedure left five people dead: the young members of the MLN Diana Maidanik, Sylvia Reyes and Laura Raggio, the policeman Márquez and Captain Gutiérrez, who died after several days of agony as a result of the injuries sustained.
Recently the former Commander in Chief of the Army, retired Lieutenant General Juan Rebollo, was prosecuted by Judge Isaura Tórtora for his responsibility in the death of the three girls. Rebollo was then head of Antiaircraft Artillery 1, one of the two units that carried out the procedure. His defense maintains that that night there was a confrontation with the young militants of the MLN, something that several legislators from the Cabildo Abierto party have also stated.
Senator Guillermo Domenech, for example, told the press that there was a “combat” and that the three young women killed “were very prepared for actions of a warlike nature” and “responded with grenades and shots from a high-powered firearm.” , to such an extent that they fatally wounded an officer, Captain Gutiérrez.”
According to what was recorded in the proceedings of the military justice system, Gutiérrez died wounded by machine gun fire. A historical autopsy carried out during the current judicial proceedings, entrusted to the Department of Legal Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine, also concluded that Gutiérrez was hit by machine gun bullets or other automatic or semi-automatic weapons.
That version clashes with the photos taken at the time by the Technical Police: there it is seen that the weapons found next to the bodies of the three girls were revolvers.
In addition, in his response to the appeal filed by the Rebollo Defense, the prosecutor fully transcribes an Army document listing everything that was seized in the apartment where the three young Tupamaras lived. There were two revolvers, but no machine guns or grenades.
The document states that they seized:
2 document lamination presses.
1 SINGER typewriter.
1 MIGNON paper cutting guillotine.
Form for the preparation of a driver’s license and forgery of identity cards.
Card for falsification of documents.
Polyethylene sheets for document lamination.
1 pack of false documents.
1 TAURUS 38 caliber long revolver.
1 COLT 38-caliber 2-inch revolver.”
As for the policeman, the actions of the military justice itself determined that he was killed by an ensign who was part of the operation by shooting him for having confused him with Barrios.
Perciballe writes: “What is beyond doubt is that both the young women, as well as the Army Officer Gutiérrez and even the Dorbal Policeman Marquez were killed by the National Army. Circumstance not minor because it gives us the guideline of the recklessness and irrationality of the procedure.
He adds: “The Defense asks why was Rebollo not charged with the death of Gutiérrez? And in that he is right, because Rebollo is as responsible for the deaths of the young women as for that of Gutiérrez. And still, if you want to be consistent with that of Police officer Márquez. Taking into account that he, in his capacity as chief (along with Lieutenant Colonel Scala), was the one who orchestrated the operation and at that time gave the orders for its development”.