Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Former intelligence advisor confirms that Vladimiro Montesinos was de facto intelligence director

August 15th, 2008 · No Comments

(Witness Rafael Merino Bartet. Photo: Judicial Power)

August 13, 2008

Ninetieth session. Former National Intelligence Service (SIN) advisor, Rafael Merino Bartet was summoned to testify during this session as one of the judges’ witnesses.

1.  Incidents surrounding the criminal trial


Castro Castro case

Fujimori was extradited for only seven cases. However, on May 22, 2007, the Peruvian Supreme Court approved of the extradition request for the case known as Castro Castro, which the Justice Ministry presented to Chile. An accusation against Fujimori for serious injuries and first-degree murder — issued by the Public Prosecutor’s office on Aug. 13 of this year — will be added to this request. 


The Castro Castro case involves the extrajudicial executions of 42 inmates by state agents on May 6-9, 1992 in the maximum-security prison known as Miguel Castro Castro, east of Lima.

2. Merino Bartet’s testimony– Among the most important aspects of the witness’ testimony for this criminal trial are:


Merino Bartet, SIN advisor

In the 1990s, the witness was the political advisor for the SIN and worked directly under Vladimiro Montesinos. By order of Montesinos, he wrote speeches for military chiefs and ministry heads, he drafted informative reports, intelligence reports, intelligence analysis documents and press releases, among others. He drafted a project of “declaration” that was read by Fujimori to announce the April 5, 1992 coup d’état. However, Merino Bartet explained that Fujimori made corrections to this document.

Merino Bartet also said he was never asked to write a report on the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes. 

Vladimiro Montesinos, SIN deputy director

The witness revealed that at the beginning of the 1990s and during a period of 30 days, Montesinos was the deputy director of the SIN, but does not know if Montesinos signed any documents while he occupied this post.


New evidence on plans to execute Shining Path leaders

Merino Bartet showed a document — a memorandum from Oct. 14, 1992 — that he himself had written, detailing the supposed “execution” of leaders from the subversive group Shining Path: Abimael Guzmán Reynoso and Elena Iparraguirre. The document had handwritten corrections that belonged to Fujimori, according to the witness, who said, “If you want, you can do a writing test, but I know Fujimori’s handwriting because I have had in my possession a text modified by him for his televised speech on April 5 [1992].”


Non-military Intelligence Operation Plans

The witness confirmed his participation in drafting six non-military Intelligence Operation Plans carried out between 1992 and 1996, which were ordered by Montesinos. These plans included:

1.     Storm in the Andes, carried out in September 1992 after Abimael Guzmán’s capture, with the aim to break Guzmán’s ideology.

2.     Bus, July 1992: Through drivers, they managed to infiltrate buses donated to the universities by the government, allowing them to hear the students’ conversations in order to identify members of subversive groups.

3.     Constellation.

4.     Support.

5.     Pueblos Jóvenes (“Young Towns”)

6.     Rupture.

7.     Condor, related to the external front.


End of the year 2000

At the end of the year 2000, during the fall of Fujimori’s regime, Merino Bartet gave the congressional investigative commissions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Judicial Power computer documents that he wrote while he was SIN advisor.


Merino Bartet saved the information since Peruvian Gen. Ruben Wong Venegas, SIN informational director, gave orders to incinerate the documents when Fujimori deactivated the SIN (after the videos of Montesinos bribing congressmen to support Fujimori were made public).


Among the information, there was a speech that Merino Bartet had written for Carlos Boloña, who was allegedly going to assume the presidency when Fujimori stepped down. Boloña, who was the Economic Minister during Fujimori’s government, is implicated in the case of the US$15 million, since he and Fujimori supposedly gave money from the Peruvian government to Montesinos as compensation for services. This is one of the cases for which Fujimori has been extradited.


Fujimori’s response

At the end of the session, Fujimori asked to speak. He admitted the veracity of the documents on executing Shining Path leaders; however, he said that this was just part of a psychological operation. “The documents referring to the alleged execution of Abimael Guzmán Reynoso were made as part of a psychological intelligence operation managed by the SIN. At no time was there any intention — much less a decision — to take the life of Abimael Guzmán or any other leader. On the contrary, what was concretely planned was respect for all of the Shining [Path] leaders, in accordance with the orders from my office,” said Fujimori.


3. Next session

At the end of the session, the Court President announced that at the next session the 21 national and international experts will testify, including forensic doctors and medical coroners. Friday, Aug. 15 will be the last day to present evidence.