Two Deaths That Will Never Die
"Tonight's the night," Alejandro told the two young men he had met in meetings of pro-independence for the island of Puerto Rico. The two men were Arnaldo Darío Rosado and Carlos Soto Arriví. Alejandro González Malavé had masterminded this plan and had enticed the two men into helping him carry it out. What Arnaldo and Carlos didn't know would haunt them and the majority of the people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Not only did it haunt all of them, but I found out today that it also haunts me; a gringo who has made the wonderful island of Puerto Rico my home.
The date was July 25th,1978. The three men led by Malavé kidnapped a taxi driver by the name of Julio Ortiz Molina. They forced him to drive and drive without explaining where they were going.
"Are you both prepared" Malavé questioned the two young men. Both Carlos and Arnaldo shook their heads yes and patted the backpacks they carried with them. These packs held explosives and items to start fires. They were about to get revenge for the death of Griselio Torresola and they wanted Oscar Collazo freed from the prison he was incarcerated in within the United States.
With a gun held to his head by Alejandro, Molina saw the sign you see at the right. "Turn here" said Malavé.
Fog was everywhere. Molina parked the car and Carlos and Arnaldo both told Alejandro he should just release the taxi driver. Malavé said "no way, he stays!" The young pro-independence activists just shook their heads at the crazy Malavé and got out of the car to carry out the plan. As they were retrieving items from their backpacks the whole world seemed to come crashing down.
They were dressed in black and came out from the trees and around the corners of the towers that you see below.
Guns were drawn and shots were fired.
Alejandro yelled, "not me, not me; I'm an agent". He pointed at Carlos and Arnaldo who at this point had thrown their weapons down and had their hands raised.
At this point, the taxi driver realized the men in black were all police officers. One of the officers hit the cab driver and pulled him away from the scene. Molina said he saw that the police officers had both Carlos and Arnaldo on their knees in front of the taxi cab and had guns pointed at their heads. As he was pulled away he distinctly heard both boys screaming, "please don't shoot; please!" Molina then heard five gunshots.
His appearance was on news channels everywhere across Puerto Rico on July 26th. Governor of Puerto Rico Carlos Romero Barceló praised the police officers for killing two dangerous terrorists in Cerro Maravilla and stopping them from blowing up the communications towers. He said these cops were heroes.
Heroes? Were they really heroes?
It took years for the truth to come to light. As I have studied this whole dreadful occurrence, I realize that all the truth and judgement probably still hasn't come to light.
Why This Gringo Frog Cried
Maggie and I drove high to the location of this tragedy today. It was rainy and there was a lot of fog. We were about 1 mile from the location of Carlos and Arnaldo's death site. I saw two small puppies running on this lonely road. When I say small, I mean small. They were probably just weaned from their mother and someone dropped them on this lonely stretch of road. As we passed the pups, they looked at me and turned and started running towards the car. I stopped and as they came closer, I noticed they had some ticks. We scooped them up and they are here with us now. ( Picture at the right.) They are now named Cerro and Merro.
Why do I mention the pups? Because, they had me thinking of how Carlos and Arnaldo were set-up not far away.
We drove on to the location and as I got out of the car and looked at those two crosses I heard them in the wind. Yes, it was Carlos and Arnaldo speaking to me: "Write our story Froggy, please." I cried and cried as I looked at this lonely, desolate location. I cried some more and I just knew these two boys did not deserve to be murdered; but they were. They were murdered by people that are not supposed to murder; uniformed police officers.
It took six years for it all to come to light. This is because people all through the Puerto Rico government and the F.B.I. all tried to say it was self-defense. Yes, the F.B.I. was involved in the cover-up. The United States Justice Department was involved in the cover-up. The Puerto Rico police were involved in the cover-up. It all came out because one cop couldn't live with himself for what he was involved in. He told the story. The dominoes fell and the undercover agent, Malavé, gave in and explained his part. He was assassinated not long after talking outside his Mother's home In Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
The story goes very deep and far. I am of the opinion that there should be many, many more people in prison than there is now for those murders. I even believe that the former Governor may have even ordered their deaths. One thing is for sure, God knows and all of the wastes of good oxygen who had a part in these two boys murders will answer someday.
Let's look at what did happen to some:
- Col. Ángel Pérez Casillas- 20 years prison
- Lieut. Nelson González Pérez- 24 years prison
- Lieut. Jaime Quíles Hernández- 12 years prison
- Officer Juan Bruno González- 16 years prison
- Officer William Colón Berríos- Acquitted
- Officer Nazario Mateo Espada- 6 years prison
- Officer Rafael Moreno Morales- 30 years prison
- Officer Luis Reverón Martínez- Acquitted
- Officer Jose Ríos Polanco- 10 years prison
- Officer Rafael Torres Marrero- 20 years prison
Top officials in the Puerto Rico Justice Department resigned or were demoted. Three Secretaries of Justice resigned. Three prosecutors were relieved of their duties.
Lastly, Romero Barceló lost his gubernatorial seat against former governor and opposing party rival Rafael Hernández Colón.
As we drove away from the location of the Cerro Maravilla assassination, we were just about 1/2 mile away and I saw a police vehicle headed straight for us. I wish I could have video taped how he slowed and stared at us very hard. I had a feeling that I may be the next one to have to say
Please don't shoot me officer.
He didn't stop us, but why, oh why should anyone feel that way about uniformed police officers that are paid by us and are supposed to protect us, not harm or murder us?
Puerto Rico has it's share of "bad cops". Why is that? From the sentences I see above for murdering two young men, they just are not scared.Cops that break the rules should get much stiffer penalties, not easier penalties.
C'mon Governor Fortuño; do something about dirty cops. They need to know that if they break the rules, freedom is not ever going to be in their hands again.
To the friends and family of these boys: Our prayers are with you. May God bless you all.
To Carlos and Arnaldo: You two boys are the real heroes. You were not terrorists, but freedom fighters. I, as a gringo who has come to love this your beautiful island paradise, rate you as I would Patrick Henry, Paul Revere and the other patriots who gained independence for the United States. You boys are the heroes and the cops who murdered you are the real terrorists.
May you both Rest In Peace!
© G.L. Boudonck
© 2012 Greg Boudonck
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