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Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team describes how La Cantuta victims were murdered

September 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Sept. 10, 2008

Ninety-ninth session. Three members from the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF)— José Baráybar, Carmen Rosa Cardoza Araujo and Melissa Lung Valles — talked of their experience in investigating the remains of the La Cantuta victims’ bodies.

1. Incidents during the hearing



Fujimori’s health

The Court has made no mention of Fujimori’s health status even though there was a press conference held in Congress on Sept. 8, where Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, Congresswoman Keiko Sofía Fujimori announced that the results of her father’s medical exams discarded the possibility of cancer.

Document evidence

The Court has requested a copy of the Directive No. 001-90-MD-FDM, “Strategic Planning for National Defense” from the Defense Ministry. This directive was passed in 1990 by former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori.

It is important to mention that last session, Fujimori’s lawyer requested for the Court to admit this evidence, which was approved by the Public Prosecutor and lawyers for the victims’ families. The Defense Ministry previously denied the defense’s request for this document since it was supposedly classified. However, the Court has requested the document once again since according to international doctrine and legislation “it would not affect people’s security, nor put territorial integrity or the democratic system at risk.”


Witness removed

The Court approved the request of the lawyers for the victims’ families to remove one of the national experts, Salomón Lerner Febres, former president of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, since he will be abroad for several weeks.


2. EPAF – Among the most interesting things said by the forensic anthropology team are:


La Cantuta victims

The EPAF worked on identifying the remains, as well as in investigating the causes of death of the La Cantuta victims. They reached the conclusion that at least three of the victims were incinerated at temperatures above 600°C (1112°F) after their murder. Furthermore, at least four of the victims received simultaneous bullet impacts from back to front from a short distance, meaning they were shot in the back.

According to the evidence studied in the Strasbourg Institute of Legal Medicine in France in 2007, there was a “common pattern” of homicide or extrajudicial execution in the La Cantuta crime.

3. Next session

The Court announced that for the next session on Monday, Sept. 15, one of the former members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Carlos Iván Degregori, will speak as a national expert. The Court also informed that there will later be a recess of five days in order for the defense and prosecution to organize their evidence.