and father of four children, in 1965 Julio Cabezas Gacitua
initiated his a career as assistant prosecutor for the Iquique
State Defense Council. In 1968 President Eduardo Frei appointed
him State Defense Council Prosecutor, the position he held
at the time of his arrest. His work involved supervision and
monitoring of government administrative and judicial offices
of the province of Iquique.
Comptroller of Iquique, Julio Cabezas undertook an investigation
of a blackmarket ring in which food products from Iquique
were traded in Bolivia, nurturing in form of cocaine traffic
to Iquique. Cabezas discovered that prominent
businessmen had connections to the contraband and drug trafficking
enterprise through bonds of friendship with certain court
officials, including Iquique Appeals Court judges. Evidence
indicated that Lower Court Judge Mario Acuna Riquelme was
also involved in the illegal enterprise.
Police Intelligence Brigade's Report of December 1, 1999 prepared
for the Santiago Court of Appeals concerning the death of
Julio Cesar Cabezas indicates:
Mr. Julio Cabezas was conducting this investigation and
became aware of the involvement of certain judicial officials,
altercations arose with Lower Court Judge Mr. Mario Acuña
Riquelme, who repeatedly prevented Cabeza's staff from entering
the court building. On more than one occasion Julio Cabezas
had to file an injunction with the Iquique Court of Appeals
due to the legal obstacles implemented by the judge."
concluding the investigation, the Supreme Court was informed
of the situation. The high court of Chile appointed a Special
Investigative Judge who confirmed the denunciations Julio
Cabezas had formulated. The Supreme Court took disciplinary
measures including the removal of two judges from the Iquique
Court of Appeals. It also suspended Mario Acuña Riquelme
from his judgeship.
the military coup, Mario Acuña Riquelme was appointed
Military Prosecutor for the Army's Sixth Division.
after the coup, the communications media announced Military
Edicts ("bandas militares"), demanding that lists
of persons present themselves before the new military authorities,
"under orders to shoot at the slightest sign of resistance.
" Julio Cabezas Gacitua was one of 57 persons Edict N.
6, of September 14, 1973, ordered to report to the Army's
Sixth Division Garrison Command.
Julio Cabezas voluntarily presented himself before military
officials. He was immediately placed under arrest and taken,
first, to the Telecommunications Regiment. From there he was
transferred to the Pisagua Prisoners of War Camp.
War Council accused him of treason and he was executed October
11, 1973. Military Edict N. 82 announced the execution, but
the body of Julio Cabezas was not returned to his family.
In June 1990 his mummified remains were found in a mass grave
on the northwestern side of the Pisagua cemetery and recognized
by his family.
same police report reached the following conclusion:
failure to establish credible political reasons for the
arrest and execution by firing squad of Cabezas Gacitua,
leads the investigation to presume with reason that the
events in question may be attributed to an act of vengeance
by Mario Acuña Riquelme, who had been accused of
criminal actions by the victim as Iquique Prosecutor. This
hypothesis is supported by the fact that on the same day
Cabezas was shot, two other persons who had also participated
in the investigation of the contraband ring, were also executed.
These were Jose Cordoba and Mario Morris, a Customs official.
to "Reclaiming Memory"