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Witness says low-intensity war was reflected in presidential speeches

April 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

April 2, 2008

Forty-third session. Journalist Umberto Jara continued his testimony from the previous two sessions by answering questions from the victims’ lawyers and Fujimori’s defense. The testimony was based on information he was given by Santiago Martin Rivas — alleged leader of operations in the Colina military detachment — and a source referred to as “the general.” The most important parts of his testimony include:

  1. “Low-intensity war” policy with presidential backing had two lines of action. Jara reiterated that according to his sources, former president Alberto Fujimori knew about and backed the application of a low-intensity war that had two aspects: 

·      The legal aspect, which allowed the “dirty war” to be covered up by carrying out activities like random searches or the “soldier friend” policy (the latter was repeatedly mentioned by Fujimori in his examination before Court).

·      The illegal aspect — a “dirty war” — included the execution of certain alleged “terrorists” as well as intimidation measures, such as Barrios Altos, where signs of the state’s involvement in the crime were intentionally left.


Furthermore, in official documents of the Peruvian army, such as the manual that Martin Rivas presented to the General Command, only the legal aspect of this low-intensity war policy are mentioned, including phrases like “respect for human rights.” The policy’s illegal aspect, though not explicit in official documents, can be “read between the lines”; moreover, according to Jara, this policy is also reflected in presidential speeches, which the witness will hand in to the Court.

2.     Manual produced by the analysis group hasn’t been presented in trial, but Fujimori’s defense has a copy. When Jara was examined by the lawyers for the victims’ families, he showed a copy of the manual drafted by the analysis group, which had not previously been presented in court and which supposedly served to prove the adopted “low-intensity war.” Jara received the copy of the manual from Martin Rivas. Later, when Fujimori’s lawyer César Nakazaki examined the witness, he said that he also had a copy of the manual and compared its information.

A copy of the manual will be given to Court for further evaluation.

3.     Accusations made against Fujimori by opposition were false. Jara said that the torture of Fabián Salazar in the year 2000 — supposedly for his investigations on the corruption in Fujimori’s administration — was false and that he has documents to prove it.


At the end of the hearing, spokesperson for the families of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta victims, Gisela Ortiz Perea (whose brother — Luis Enrique Ortiz — was a victim of La Cantuta), expressed her concern over Nakazaki saying “we will see what Montesinos says” when he examined Umberto Jara, since it could mean there was an agreement made previously between Montesinos and Jara. It is important to note that Nakazaki is also representing Nicolás Hermoza Ríos (former army commander general) and Julio Salazar Monroe (former head of the National Intelligence Service).

For the next session, Jara will continue his testimony before Nakazaki and the Court.

Fujimori’s health. It’s also important to mention that the Court requested the Institute of Legal Medicine to take the measures necessary in caring for Fujimori’s health. Also, in recent hearings there have been three blocks of two hours: the two morning blocks are separated by a 15-minute recess and there is one other block in the afternoon. 

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