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Former agent Sosa says Joint Command of the Armed Forces gave order for Colina’s formation

August 1st, 2008 · No Comments

July 30, 2008

Eighty-fifth session. Former agent of the Colina military detachment, Jesús Sosa Saavedra, gave his testimony during this session. Sosa was a fugitive from justice from 2001 until March this year, when he was captured in Lima. According to Sosa, the crimes committed by military personnel in the Peruvian Army began in 1980. He also stated that the Colina military detachment was formed under the orders of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces.

1.              Incidents surrounding the criminal trial


Fujimori’s birthday

On Sunday afternoon, July 27, Fujimori received his children Kenji and Keiko (current congresswoman for the pro-Fujimori party) in celebration of his 70th birthday. Gianni Pivetta and Leonardo Franco, two members of the Chilean music group “Los Iracundos” accompanied Fujimori’s children on their visit. According to the head of the National Penitentiary Institute, this visit has not weakened security.

Rules on document evidence

The Court announced that once Sosa’s testimony ends, the role of document evidence in the trial will be explained. Similarly, the Court established that the deadline for handing in evidence will be when the last witness’ testimony concludes. Máximo San Rompan, who was vice president from July 1990 until the coup d’état on April 5, 1992, is scheduled as the last witness.


Amicus Curiae

The Court announced that on Friday, Aug. 1, a decision would be made on the admission of the amicus curiae brief, presented by the George Washington University Human Rights Clinic and signed by various US law professors.


2. Sosa’s testimony – Public Prosecutor Avelino Guillén represented the prosecution during this session for the examination of the witness, who was called by the Judges. Among the most important aspects of the witness’ testimony were:

Crimes since 1983

Sosa said that since 1983 — during President Fernando Belaúnde’s second presidential term (1980-1985) — he worked as an intelligence operative agent, or AIO, in the Ayacucho department. He worked with Hugo Coral Goycochea, Ángel Sauñi Pomaya, Nelson Carbajal García, Julio Chuqui Aguirre and Ángel Pino Díaz — all of whom would later form part of the Colina military detachment.


It’s important to mention that this year common graves containing hundreds of bodies were found — in the Putis village grave, over 400 bodies were found. The victims were supposedly killed by military personnel one of the common graves was even found inside the “Los Cabitos” army barrack.” According to forensic experts, these crimes were committed between 1983 and 1985.


“Intelligence operation” in 1998

Sosa also revealed that in 1988, during Alan García’s first government from 1985 to 1990, he was the operative director of a “special intelligence group” called “Scorpion” (Escorpio). According to Sosa, this intelligence group was in charge of “eliminating” Enrique Duchicela, who was supposedly the commander of an Ecuadorian government spy network.


The witness also stated: “I was called by Col. Hanke to carry out this job. He told me it was an express order from the president [Alan García] to capture this spy, it was in May or June of 1988 …” He also said that when he finished the “intelligence operation” he talked with Col. Hanke in his office. In a video conference, Hanke informed the then Army Commander General who praised Sosa for the operation’s success and also gave congratulations on behalf of then president Alan García.


Murder of a journalist in 1989

Sosa said that in April 1989 he participated in another “special intelligence operation” consisting in the “elimination” of Guillermo López Salazar, a journalist and advisor from the United Left political party in Tingo María, located in Peru’s interior.


Since the witness avoided saying directly that the “special intelligence operation” was to murder the journalist mentioned, the President of the Court, César San Martín asked, “Was this man killed or not?” To this, Sosa responded: “This was a special intelligence operation that was done at the request of Gen. Alberto Arciniegas Huby, head of the Military Policy Command in Huallaga.” Furthermore, Sosa said that the special intelligence operation was directed by Santiago Martín Rivas and that several members of the National Police Force participated.


This testimony, which reveals crimes committed by the Armed Forces in the 1980s, was given shortly after Congress elected, for the third consecutive year, a candidate from the ruling party as its president on July 26. This success was due in part from the support of the pro-Fujimori party Alianza para el Futuro. This election took place in the middle of a controversy that began two days earlier when the interior minister went to visit Alberto Fujimori in his cell. According to a local pro-Fujimori newspaper, the support of fujimorista congress members was given in exchange for the resignation of current Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo, since he testified as a witness in Fujimori’s trial on his kidnapping on April 5, 1992.


Colina Detachment

According to Sosa, the Colina Detachment was formed under the orders of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces and was under the command of Santiago Martín Rivas. This detachment carried out operations in Lima as well as in the country’s interior, and also drafted well-known operations plans such as Plan Cipango 1, 2 and 3.


Barrios Altos

Concerning this massacre, Sosa said that according to what Martín Rivas told him, this crime was the order of Pedro Villanueva Valdivia, who was then the Army Commander General.


The “El Santa” murders

The witness also talked about the “El Santa” crime — the murder of workers who were on strike for better salaries — that occurred in May 1992 in the country’s interior. According to Sosa, the order came from then Army Commander General Nicolás Hermoza Ríos: “I am absolutely certain it was Hermoza Ríos who gave the order for the Santa operations.”


Please note that according to the testimony of another former Colina agent, the detachment’s members found out after committing the crime that Hermoza Ríos’ brother was the owner of the company that the workers were striking against.


La Cantuta

Sosa said that former Col. Federico Navarro Pérez told him the La Cantuta crime was an order from Army Commander General Hermoza Ríos. Sosa also said, “I know it was the Army Commander General who gave the order, but it was Col. Federico Navarro Pérez who received the direct order.”


3. Next session:

For the next session on Friday, Aug. 1, former Colina agent Jesús Sosa Saavedra will continue his testimony.


On July 31, the Organization of American State’s Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accused the Peruvian State for the forced disappearance of Keneth Ney Anzualdo Castro, a Peruvian university student who was supposedly “disappeared” by state agents in 1993 and later murdered in the basements of the Army Intelligence Service. The case will be heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and is one of the cases that the Peruvian State presented to the Chilean Supreme Court in order to extradite Fujimori, but was rejected. 


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