Vehicles do not stop speed. The dust accumulates, it is a gravel road. But that house does not go unnoticed: it became famous for the horror that had it as a setting. Six months have passed since Fabián Gutiérrez was found buried in the courtyard of the cabin, former secretary of Cristina Kirchner. The owners rent it temporarily, they never imagined that their property would be linked to a crime of political impact. They painted it, cleaned it inside and closed its doors, which despite being available, were never opened again. Forty steps from the main door, a cement factory delimits the place where Judge Carlos Narvarte found the lifeless body of former civil servant K.
The yellow color characterized it among the other houses in the neighborhood. The cabin is adjacent to another similar one, and they are rented temporarily. Its owner, who does not reside in El Calafate, told Clarion you never imagined what happened there.
Fabián Gutiérrez with Cristina Kirchner
Talk on the phone in a calm tone; the situation in which he was involved still seems incredible to him. “I only rented that cabin for a long time, nothing more, I still can’t believe it,” Lucas told Clarion. A relative of his is responsible for taking care of the property. With his right hand he points to the place. In full view of all, with some weeds and wild flowers that beat the horror of that night, they know that space by heart.
The day contributes to the journey. There is no wind, the Patagonian summer prevails. Everything is green, unlike the bloody winter in which the murder occurred, which the tourist village still talks about. You have to walk through a direct entrance to the patio, where daisies predominate and the grass is overgrown, but nobody seems to care. First, you pass by a fire pit that has the shelter of Patagonian poplars, some wooden benches accompany the image, and the ashes of a recent fire still remain.
The courtyard where the body of Fabián Gutiérrez was buried. Photo Francisco Muñóz / Opi Santa Cruz.
About fifteen steps further, on the left hand side of what is already beginning to be the border with the adjoining land, without a fence, only trees, there is an old cement factory, in disuse. Next to him the ground was disturbed. “There they buried him”, says who that morning was making a last tour of the place before leaving.
In that place, on July 4 at midmorning, Judge Carlos Narvarte found the body of Fabián Gutiérrez, buried, lifeless and with obvious signs of violence: they had tortured him for hours. His face was bloody and disfigured. He had been there for several hours, underground in that courtyard. Then the snow covered that mound of earth.
A few meters from that point that was decisive in the judicial file is the cabin, a small, basic one: a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, without luxuries, with the essentials to spend a few days. Its access door overlooks the patio, from there you can clearly see the place where they chose to bury the body of the former secretary of Cristina Kirchner. Its outer walls were yellow, but now everything is painted white. The dark wood frames of the windows and the door stand out more.
The hut, with a green roof, where the body of Fabián Gutiérrez was buried. Photo Francisco Muñóz / Opi Santa Cruz.
The interior of the cabin was not modified. Everything was cleaned and arranged, but they decided not to remodel it. But the owners cannot rent it. “People are impressed,” says one of those responsible for taking care of the place. A neighbor who passes in front of the house agrees: “I don’t really like to go through this path, everything that happened here gives me something.” In front of the property there are only four more houses, and the area is surrounded by hotels and inns. For now the owners decided to give it a family use, after months and months without being able to rent it.
That property was in the hands of the courts for a long time, until the judge considered that there were no more tests to be carried out there and returned it to its owners.
The other scene of the murder suffered a different fate, another two-story house located 200 meters from the residence of Cristina Kirchner. Fabián Gutiérrez bought that property when he was secretary to the former President, so he was a few steps away from any requirement. It was the place where he spent his last hours alive. As well it was the space in which he was brutally tortured. As reconstructed by the Justice, the former secretary received blows to the arms, hands, torso, head and face, various lacerations of different lengths, fracture of the proximal phalanx of the left thumb and a total of five stabs in the neck area, that reveal unbridled conduct in the execution of the crime.
Fabián Gutiérrez’s house, where he was murdered. Photo Francisco Muñóz / Opi Santa Cruz.
That property is one of the many that federal justice investigated, which concluded that Gutiérrez could not justify close to 900 million pesos. His family was prosecuted and one step away from going to an oral trial for money laundering. According to Narvarte and later the Santa Cruz Resources judge, part of that “black” money was what the three young people allegedly responsible for the crime were looking for.
The house also changed its exterior color: it is no longer beige, but green stands out among the houses in that neighborhood, also with dirt roads and poplars everywhere. Next to it, a large lot with a neat lawn remains empty. Fabián Gutiérrez had planned to do something there. Now a horse grazes, with the parsimony that time and place imprints.
But the house is not uninhabited: the dark furniture is neat, there are familiar picture frames on the living room furniture and dark curtains prevent any curious person from seeing something inside. The family used it again, to give it the sense of a home for everyday use. There, where the former secretary was tortured, murdered and where there were traces of blood everywhere. The three defendants for the homicide took no more than seven minutes to move the body from that house to the cabin, which remains closed and with no one who is encouraged to use it.