Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia

By Steven Dudley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12

THE SUIZO

Bernardo Jaramillo's assassin was a tall, lanky teenager named Andrés Arturo Gutiérrez. To commit his crime, Andrés assumed the name "Jaime Alberto Restrepo." His fake ID said he was born May 12,1969, in the small rural village of Carolina, Antioquia. But Gutiérrez was sixteen, not twenty as his ID said. Far from a peasant farmer, he was a typical teen from a poor Medellín neighborhood who rarely left the city. Like his friends, he wore T-shirts and jeans just about every day. He had thick, overgrown lips and a thin mustache. Emulating the star soccer players of the time, he had a long mane of curly hair that stretched to his shoulders.

Andrés would carry the fake ID only once in his life. It was the one day he could be someone else-the one day he could escape from his own misery. Before that day, Andrés had dropped out of school and started caring for cars on the street. Later he had gotten work in a small factory, where he had earned minimum wage making chalk for pool sticks. Outside of work, he stayed active. He played soccer every Saturday. He also lifted weights, swam, and jogged at the park near his house. He dated a few girls and had a lot of friends. But Andrés was still unhappy. "He would come home with blisters on his hands," his father, Fabio de Jesús Gutiérrez, later testified. "But that's not what bothered him. What bothered him was how little money he made." Don Fabio was a poor ex-con whose lifestyle complicated his son's already tough circumstances. Don Fabio had served a few years in jail for falsifying documents and was unemployed. His wife worked, as did his eldest son, but Don Fabio always seemed to be angling for a new scheme to hustle his way through the day. He also liked the sauce. He admitted to investigators he enjoyed "eight or ten" drinks and a few cigarettes when he could.

Andrés's challenging habitat made him a perfect candidate for a "job," and the recruiters were ready to pounce. Some months before the assassina-

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Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Prologue - The Martyrs 1
  • Part One 15
  • Chapter 1 - Fighting History 17
  • Chapter 2 - The Desert Fox 31
  • Chapter 3 - The Master Plan 45
  • Chapter 4 - Guerrilla Politics 57
  • Chapter 5 - Black Vladimir 65
  • Chapter 6 - Too Much Tic 77
  • Part Two 89
  • Chapter 7 - The "Disposable Ones" 91
  • Chapter 8 - A Moral Victory 105
  • Chapter 9 - The Return of Black Vladimir 117
  • Chapter 10 - The Perestroikas 127
  • Chapter 11 - The House of CastaÑo 141
  • Chapter 12 - The Suizo 153
  • Part Three 167
  • Chapter 13 - Farc-Landia 169
  • Chapter 14 - Justice as a Memory 181
  • Chapter 15 - The Great Escape 195
  • Chapter 16 - Shades of Jaime 209
  • Chapter 17 - Leftovers 221
  • Index 243
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