Fifty-fourth session. Retired military officials Alberto Ríos Rueda and César Burga Colchado — both called by Fujimori’s defense team — testified in this session. Ríos Rueda said that he received direct orders from Alberto Fujimori. On finishing the session, Fujimori spoke for 12 minutes, which he used to deny what the witnesses had testified.
1. Incidents during the hearing.
While lawyer César Nakazaki asked Ríos Rueda questions on the different places visited by Fujimori during his government, the ex-president revised the National Geophysical Institute atlas from 1987 — in other words, Fujimori was revising all the political maps from the last 20 years of the diverse regions of Peru.
2. Among the most important aspects of the witness’ testimony:
Alberto Ríos Rueda.- Was head of the military house in Government Palace for four years and later assigned by the executive branch as president of the Transitory Council of Regional Administration in Piura (CTAR – Grau) from 1996 to 1998.
“I received direct orders from Fujimori.”
Military official and classmate of Vladimiro Montesinos, testified before the Court that he received direct orders from Fujimori, which were “sometimes verbal and other times written” … “he gave orders to me and I couldn’t disrespect a presidential order — how could I disobey?”
Ríos Rueda admitted having received orders from Fujimori, however, he did not remember reporting his activities to his superior, the Army Commander General.
The president’s “Civic Actions”: Giving sewing machines. In his testimony, Ríos Rueda gave a detailed account on the donations that Fujimori made along with the Peruvian army, known as “civic actions” of support to the public, ambulances, sewing machines, buses, trucks and more. He said that for this reason, they consistently traveled to the country’s interior with state ministers and journalists. The witness admitted that Fujimori decided where to travel and with whom without consulting anyone — even Fujimori’s sister participated in these “civic actions.”
The witness didn’t know where the money to buy these donations came from (though he was reminded that in 2001 he told Congress the money came from the National Intelligence Service), neither did he know who was aware of this spending. Ríos Rueda didn’t know how much was spent nor was he accountability to anyone.
César Burga Colchado.- Retired colonel who worked with Ríos Rueda in the military detachment Ilo (a port in southern Peru) and later worked as Fujimori’s aide-de-camp.
Burga Colchado said that he made constant trips with the president to the country’s interior; there was generally a routine of getting around every day. Ríos Rueda said that for security reasons, Fujimori didn’t tell anyone — not even the aides-de-camp — about the places he traveled to.
Burga is not certain who Fujimori made coordinations with in order to make the trips, since military helicopters and the presidential plane (piloted by a military official) were used.
Alberto Fujimori’s comments.
At the end of the session, Fujimori asked to speak. It’s important to remember that to date, every time Fujimori has asked the Court to speak, the Court has allowed him to. During the 12 minutes that Fujimori spoke, he attempted to contradict what was said by former witnesses Arnaldo Velarde Ramírez and Petronio Fernández-Dávila Carnero, who testified that at the time of the April 5, 1992 coup, subversive group Shining Path was not winning the war against the state.
3. Next session.
César Burga Colchado will continue his testimony and retired officials Hugo Martínez Aloja (head of military base “Los Cabitos” in 1991) and Miguel Ángel Bernal Neyra have been summoned.