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Hermoza admits speech to Colina agents but claims he didn’t know their crimes

July 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

(Former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos. Photo: Judicial Power) 

July 14, 2008

Eighty-first session. Former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos continued his testimony, admitting that he met with former army intelligence (SIE) agents in order to motivate them in their “silent work,” but claimed he didn’t know yet about the crimes they had committed.

1. Incidents during the hearing

Fujimori’s health

Due to the surgery that Fujimori underwent in the National Institute of Neoplastic Illnesses on July 10 to remove reactive granulomas detected on his tongue, the session scheduled for last Friday, July 11 was suspended so that the defendant could rest.


July 18th session suspended

The President of the Court, César San Martín, announced that the session scheduled for July 18 will be suspended since the Supreme Court of Justice of Peru will be having a plenary session and it is the obligation of all magistrates to attend.

2. Hermoza’s testimony – In answering the Public Prosecutor’s questions, the most relevant parts of the witness’ examination for this trial in his third session of testimony was:


April 5, 1992 coup d’état was Montesinos responsibility

Hermoza admitted that on April 3, 1992, days before the coup d’état, former President Alberto Fujimori met with high military and political leaders in Hermoza’s residence in Chorrillos. At the meeting, Fujimori told about the “extreme measures” that would serve to “pacify the country,” which would include the dissolution of Congress and intervention in the Judicial Power.


The witness also stated that Vladimiro Montesinos was the person politically responsible for the measures taken during the coup and as such, had to write a list of people who were to be “immobilized in their homes.” But he also said that Montesinos never gave this list since Hermoza himself had to sign an order — used to arrest various citizens — for which he assumed full responsibility.


On the June 27, 1992 speech


The witness testified that when he gave the speech, where he addressed Colina detachment agents in the building of the Peruvian Army General Command, he did not know about the crimes they had committed along with Santiago Martín Rivas, even though journalistic reports had already come out denouncing the group and the Constituent Democratic Congress was already investigating the Barrios Altos Massacre.


La Cantuta Massacre – July 18, 1992

Hermoza denied having ordered the bodies of nine students and a professor to be buried after their murder, as former Colina agent Héctor Gamarra Mamani had testified. Gamarra asserted that he committed the Colina detachment’s crimes in obedience to superior orders given in a building of the Peruvian Army. Hermoza also denied the testimonies of:

1.     Marcos Flores Albán, who said that Montesinos and Hermoza had command over the Colina detachment;

2.     José Alarcón Gonzales, who was in charge of Hermoza’s personal security and said that Hermoza must have been aware of the Colina detachment’s crimes;

3.     Julio Chuqui Aguirre, who testified that Hermoza reported on the Colina detachment’s activities to Fujimori;

4.     Pedro Supo Sánchez, who gave details on the supposed lunch that Hermoza offered to the Colina detachment members.


Regarding these “intelligence agents,” Hermoza made a clear distinction in accepting there were “excesses” committed by agents under his command, but not assuming responsibility for what the agents did.


Hermoza authorized tanks after La Cantuta crime in 1993

After being examined by the Constituent Democratic Congress for the La Cantuta crime, Hermoza admitted in this trial session that he “unduly” authorized the tanks that roamed the capital’s streets and assumed responsibility. According to Hermoza, the Peruvian Army had consulted him on the tanks since military personnel had felt there was maltreatment toward their Commander General. However, Hermoza said that he did this without consulting former President Fujimori and that he did not preside over the parade of tanks.


3.  Next session

Former Gen. Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos will continue his testimony in the next session.