Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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Salazar does not clearly explain presidential praise given to Colina agents

June 21st, 2008 · No Comments

(Julio Salazar Monroe. Photo: Judicial Power) 

June 18, 2008

Seventy-first session. Former military general Julio Salazar Monroe, who was director of the National Intelligence Service (SIN), continued his testimony.

1. Incidents during the hearing:

Fujimori’s medical reports

On June 17, the Court received medical reports from the Institute of Legal Medicine stating that former president Alberto Fujimori’s post-operative recovery has been favorable and recommending that the trial sessions only take place during the mornings until June 24. The President of the Court, César San Martín, thus ordered that the sessions only be carried out in the mornings.

Complaints from Fujimori’s defense lawyer

Fujimori’s defense lawyer, César Nakazaki, expressed his disagreement with the Judicial Power showing photos.

2. Julio Salazar Monroe’s testimony – The most relevant parts of the witness’ testimony:

Presidential congratulations unexplained.

According to Salazar, in June 1991 he asked Fujimori to praise the “analysis group,” which the Public Prosecutor claims was composed of members from the Colina military detachment.

In this way, he admitted having signed an official letter requesting praise for the analysis group from Alberto Fujimori. According to Salazar, the praise was given to this group since the military officials who were members had analyzed captured documents from subversive group Shining Path.

Among the group members were Fernando Rodríguez Zabalbeascoa, Santiago Martin Rivas, Carlos Pichilingüe Guevara and Marcos Flores Albán, who the Public Prosecutor has accused of having been part of the Colina group.

However, Salazar could not convincingly explain why he included three army officials in receiving praise who were not part of the analysis group, including Luis Cubas Portal (married to Vladimiro Montesinos’ sister), Alberto Pinto Cárdenas and Roberto Huamán Azcurra. It’s important to remember that Cubas portal admitted during this trial that he was praised because of an answer that he gave to Rodríguez Zalbabeascoa when both met by coincidence in one of the halls in the Peruvian Army General Command.

Salazar had to admit that this letter was given to him by Vladimiro Montesinos, which he later signed and returned to Montesinos. According to the Public Prosecutor (formal accusation, page 30), Fujimori was at the top of the chain of command for the Colina detachment and decisions on the executions were given through Montesinos, personal advisor of Fujimori and de facto head of the SIN.

Presidential praise: Political backing for Colina?

Though Salazar had to admit his request for recognition of the analysis group due to his signature on the document, he did not acknowledge the memorandums signed by Fujimori in June 1991, in which the former president asks the Defense Ministry to recognize the analysis group for supposed “special jobs related to national security and the defense of the high values of democracy.” It is important to remember that according to Peruvian journalist Umberto Jara, this presidential praise was a message of political backing to the creation of the Colina group and marked the beginning of the low-intensity war.

Barrios Altos Crime

As head of the National Intelligence Service, Salazar Monroe found out about this crime through the media. He also he was unaware of the existence of a report drafted by the National Police that rules out the possibility of the crime being committed by the Shining Path or MRTA.

3. Next session to continue with Julio Salazar Monroe’s tesimony

Wednesday, June 18, will only take place in the morning and the Public Prosecutor will continue with his examination of Salazar.