Julio Chuqui Aguirre, with his flow chart. (Chuqui con su organigrama.)
January 30, 2008
Eighteenth session. Julio Chuqui Aguirre, another former member of group Colina, cooperated in giving his full testimony. Chuqui attested to all of the crimes committed by Colina, giving more details on the preparation and modus operandi of the group.
He also gave information on the following:
The flow chart and chain of command.
Based on his knowledge of the Colina Group, Chuqui created a flow chart describing the chain of command, which expressed the following:
- Chuqui Aguirre was one of the leaders of a subgroup (there were three subgroups in the Colina Group) and reported to Santiago Martin Rivas, head of the Colina operation.
- Martin Rivas in turn reported the activities of each subgroup to the following leaders: 1) Juan Rivero Lazo, at that time director of the Army Intelligence Directorate (DINTE); 2) Nicolás Hermoza Ríos, who became president of the armed forces and commanding general of the army in 1992; and 3) Vladimiro Montesinos, advisor to the National Intelligence Service (SIN), and according to Fujimori, a “key part” in the fight against terrorism.
- Nicolás Hermoza Ríos reported to Fujimori on Colina’s activities.
- Vladimiro Montesinos also directly informed Fujimori on the actions taken by Colina. It is important to remember that Fujimori admitted in his testimony that he constantly met with Montesinos.
In conclusion, Vladimiro Monestinos and Hermoza Ríos directly reported to Fujimori on the operations carried out by the Colina Group.
More officers wanted to be part of Colina. Chuqui also testified that Colina was not just known among the DINTE, but also among other officers who wanted to command this group. According to Chuqui, on Colina’s initial formation, army colonels Pino Beaumont and Guillermo Iparraguirre Caballero were always interested in knowing how it was coming along, since they had wanted to command it. For this reason, Chuqui said they sped up the Barrios Altos operation (the first crime committed by Colina) in order to have concrete results. Thus it seems that Colina was more than just well-known among military officers; rather involvement was considered a privilege and was hard to access. Though Pino and Iparraguirre were higher in rank than Marin Rivas, they were not allowed to command it.
Phantom operations. Each operation carried out by Colina implied the use of personnel and large amounts of money, Chuqui said. In fact, there were two Colina operations that never produced “results”; however, they served as justifications for large payments received by Colina leaders.
For example, in May 1993, Chuqui went to Chanchamayo (city in the country’s interior) to give money to officers at an anti-subversive military base for a Colina operation. But the operation implemented with that base achieved nothing. Military officers told the press, however, that the operation had been a success and they had managed to capture subversive combatants’ weapons.
Yehude Simon Munaro. Chuqui confirmed that the murder of Simon Munaro, current president of Lambayeque, had been one of Colina’s objectives. However, when everything was ready, the group received an order to stop the operation.
Colina acted as hired killers. Chuqui said that after the Santa disappearances, they found out that Colina was not, in reality, an operation against “terrorists,” but the fulfillment of a request made by businessmen with the last name Fun, who asked that these supposed “terrorists” be eliminated. Later they found out that the disappeared persons were union workers in the company belonging to the Fun family.
DINTE offered benefits. Army intelligence offered benefits in exchange for silence while Chuqui was in prison, though not all these benefits were given. When he was held for Colina’s crimes after the military court verdict, the civil reparation he was required to pay by the court was discounted from his monthly salary. However, Juan Yanqui, then director of DINTE, ordered that Chuqui be compensated the reparation via unofficial means.
His family continues to be threatened. Currently Chuqui’s wife and children rely on police security since they are receiving threats, apparently from Santiago Martin Rivas.
At the hearing’s end, in light of all the information given by Chuqui, Fujimori broke the silence he has maintained for several sessions in order to briefly assert that he never had knowledge of or authorized these crimes.
For the next hearing on Monday, Feb. 4, two more former Colina members will be summoned.