Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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In video evidence, Martin Rivas calls Fujimori and Montesinos criminals

April 8th, 2008 · No Comments

 Above: Journalist Umberto Jara’s video interviews with Santiago Martin Rivas are shown in Court. Left: Umberto Jara shows evidence to the Court. Pictures from the Judicial Power. 

April 7, 2008

Forty-fifth session. In Court, three videos and an audio turned in by Umberto Jara were played, in which Santiago Martin Rivas — alleged head of operations in the Colina detachment — talks about the “low-intensity war” that was carried out in Peru in the 1990s.

All of these documents were made by Martin Rivas between the years 2001 and 2002 while he was in hiding and Alberto Fujimori was in Japan, after the Japanese government announced Fujimori’s citizenship.

Martin Rivas confirmed the following in the videos:

1. Low-intensity war in Peru was promoted by the United States. The United States was the country that began the application of a low-intensity war or dirty war in Vietnam, which was used in Peru: “it was implemented here, reinterpreted in manuals (…) Peru was bringing US politics and applying them here.”

2. Low-intensity war was government policy. “It was a state policy, its authorization came from the highest level, in this case from the nation’s president (…).” Martin Rivas argued that this is demonstrated in the Cantuta Law (which allowed the criminal trials to be passed to the military courts) and the Amnesty Law (which allowed those responsible for the Cantuta and Barrios Altos crimes to go free). “With this, the ultimate head of the armed forces [Alberto Fujimori] and his advisor Vladimiro Montesinos Torres were being protected.”

3. Special intelligence team. Martin Rivas denied the existence of the Colina detachment but said he had the honor of leading a “special intelligence team” that was clandestine and, according to him, had its own name. Furthermore, Barrios Altos, La Cantuta, the disappearances in Santa and other “products of the war,” were a “constitutional obligation” with political backing, given that the country was experiencing an internal war.

4. Alberto Fujimori’s personality. After referring to Fujimori’s responsibility in knowing about and approving the crimes, he also mentioned the “president’s personality,” since “we all know how he acts,” and explained how Fujimori presented himself to the press after the murders at the Castro Castro prison, the Cenepa conflict and the Japanese Embassy hostage crisis (in the latter, Fujimori himself confirmed that he gave the order and directed the military attack).

One of the most critical moments in the video was when Martin Rivas declared, “Why am I going to cover up for a pair of criminals?” in reference to Fujimori and his advisor Vladimiro Montesinos.

Jesús Sosa Saavedra will testify. Captured on April 3, 2008, he has now been summoned by the Court, who considers his testimony “essential.”  The Attorney General’s Office and lawyers — for both Fujimori and the victims’ families — agreed with the decision. In the next sessions, a video showing an interview that Sosa Saavedra gave while in hiding will be played in Court.

For the next hearing, Luis Pérez Documet, Luis Rojas Neyra and César Ramal Pesantes have been summoned.

Sentence for the Cantuta Case:

On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, the First Special Criminal Court of Lima will announce the sentence of the Cantuta Case, which Fujimori is also tried for.

Importance: the Peruvian Judiciary will define the existence of the Colina group and whether it is found within the organic structure of the Peruvian army or not.

Those tried include:

1.              Julio Salazar Monroe, former head of the National Intelligence Service, who will be testifying soon in the trial against Fujimori

2.               Carlos Mirando Balarezo

3.               Julio Rodríguez Córdova

4.               Aquilino Portella

5.               Orlando Vera Navarrete

6.               Ángel Pino Díaz

7.               José Alarcón Gonzales

8.               Fernando Lecca Esquén

9.               Manuel Hinojosa Sopla

Martin Rivas and Carlos Pichilingüe Guevara are not included in this trial because the military court sentence that condemned them to 20 years in prison is still in force.

Vladimiro Montesinos Torres, Nicolás Hermoza Ríos and Luis Pérez Documet are being tried in a separate trial.

Silence from the Peruvian army.

To date, neither the Peruvian army nor the Joint Command of the Armed Forces has responded to the statements made against them in the trial of Fujimori, even though Fujimori himself has recognized the crimes committed by army personnel. 

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