Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

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Debate on presidential praise given to Colina members

November 30th, 2008 · No Comments

 (Alberto Fujimori. Photo: Judicial Power)

November 26, 2008

One hundred twenty-fourth session. Alberto Fujimori’s lawyers continued to present evidence in his defense.

1. Inside the courtroom

1. Debate on terms low-intensity conflict and dirty war

At the trial session’s start, a debate began on the terms low-intensity conflict and dirty war.


According to the Public Prosecutor’s Ministry, between 1991 and 1992 there was a low-intensity conflict or war. Consequently two methods were used: one official and another clandestine, including extrajudicial executions, forced disappearance and tortures carried out by the Colina Military Detachment.


One of Fujimori’s lawyers, Gladys María Vallejo, stated that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has confused the terms since the formal accusation uses these synonymously. Vallejo asserted that in legal doctrine these are terms are not synonymous.

The formal accusation makes an express reference to these terms in the following areas:


1.1.   On the counter-subversive double strategy: “… two methods or strategies were used … the other, secret and clandestine and irrespective of laws, consisted in what is known as a low-intensity conflict that rigorously sought the physical elimination of supposed members of subversive groups…” (page 4)

1.2.   On the Barrios Altos case: “In the execution of a “dirty war” that Fujimori’s government applied in order to respond to terror with terror…” (page 10)

1.3.   On the case of La Cantuta: “Another of the crimes executed by the ‘Colina’ group in applying the low-intensity conflict in order to combat terrorism, decided by former President Alberto Fujimori…” (page 13)


2. Presidential praise

Regarding the presidential praise given to members of the national police force and the armed forces, in which the military personnel that had recently formed the Colina group were congratulated, lawyer Vallejo presented 21 documents emitted between 1991 and 1995, including supreme resolutions, orders, decrees and memorandums of praise.

Regarding the memorandums of praise written by Fujimori, the lawyer stated that:

2.1.          These were written on June 21, 1991 and July 30, 1991.

2.2.          The Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes were perpetrated afterward (on Nov. 3, 1991 and July 18, 1992, respectively).

2.3.          These presidential memorandums of praise therefore were not given to reward the members of the Colina detachment for committing the crimes.

Vallejo claimed these memorandums were given to military personnel who formed part of the Analysis Group that analyzed Shining Path documents. They were not given to favor the Colina Military Detachment, she said.

Furthermore, Vallejo asserted that the praise did not generate an immediate promotion, even though Fujimori had the legal power as president to promote distinguished members of the armed forces.

3.     Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres

In order to show that the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta crimes constituted a “singular action” and were not part of a policy of systematic annihilation of persons, Vallejo presented the following evidence:

3.1. Two official documents from the General Office of Army Land Operations (DIGEOPTE), which indicate the official number of army personnel and the number of military regions, battalions and divisions at the national level in 1991 and 1992. According to these documents, the great majority of the military officials participated in a policy of pacification in line with a legal order to respect human rights.

3.2. Two more official documents emitted by the DIGEOPTE:

3.2.1. The first document indicates that the Special Intelligence Operations Manual 3820 was a project from 1991 and was not approved by the Army Commander General, then Pedro Villanueva Valdivia.

3.2.2. The second document indicates that the Basic Teams Manual 3823 was not in force nor approved by Villanueva Valdivia.

Questioning from the Public Prosecutor’s Office


Presidential praise. The Public Prosecutor said that the Analysis Group was formed with Alberto Fujimori’s knowledge and consent and that this group was the previous step to forming the Colina Military Detachment, which was set up in the National Intelligence Service (SIN). This was also stated by Umberto Jara Flores in previous sessions.

The Public Prosecutor highlighted that the memorandum on July 30, 1991 expressed that Fujimori’s praise was for a group of armed forces personnel due to their successful participation in “special intelligence operations.”

Questioning from the lawyers for the victims’ families


 Presidential praise. Lawyer Carlos Rivera Paz mentioned that through the Supreme Resolution on Feb. 9, 1994, Juan Carlos Mejía León was also decorated with the “Gentleman” ribbon. Mejía, a police commander, was responsible for the forced disappearance of Ernesto Castillo Páez.


DIGEOPTE Documents. According to Rivera Paz, these documents only show statistical data and nothing else. Furthermore, lawyer Ronald Gamarra commented on the documents that show the Basic Teams Manual 3823 was not in force or approved, saying that the Second Transitory Criminal Court of the Supreme Court ruled this year that the information in those documents is false.

II. Next session

In the next session, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 28, Fujimori’s defense lawyers will continue to present evidence for the fifth consecutive session.


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