January 21, 2009
One hundred thirty-eighth session. The Public Prosecutor’s Office continued to present its final arguments in order to prove Alberto Fujimori had command responsibility for personally directing a dirty war strategy during counter-subversive efforts.
I. Public Prosecutor’s arguments
Dirty war: Parallel strategy ordered by Fujimori
According to Public Prosecutor Avelino Guillén, “Fujimori not only gave the order to apply this parallel [dirty war] strategy, but also personally and directly ensured it was carried out.” Guillén reminded the times that Fujimori has reiterated how he directly assumed command during counter-subversive action: “Fujimori has asserted on several occasions that he was not just a symbolic commander but a real commander… He said he did not ask but ordered military officials.”
The Public Prosecutor also said that Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos, former head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, wrote in his book “Lecciones de este siglo” (Lessons from this century) that it was Fujimori who personally directed the struggle against subversive groups. Hermoza said that he himself only obeyed as a subordinate.
Impunity for Colina Detachment members
Guillén asserted that “only Fujimori could guarantee impunity.” The actions taken to give Colina members impunity were not only directed at protecting the power system, but were also at protecting those who executed the power system’s plans: members of the Colina Military Detachment.
1. Amnesty laws and the military courts. In order to make impunity possible, the military courts were used to pass the “Amnesty Law” and the “Cantuta Law.” With these laws, the Colina members were outside of normal command: “the [military] chiefs had grounds to deny [Colina’s] existence.”
2. Presidential praise to Colina members. Regarding the praise Fujimori offered to Colina members, Guillén argued: “This was a double message: one directed at high army commands, in reference to [Fujimori’s] position as Supreme Chief of the Armed Forced, and the other to the chiefs who were developing the Colina Detachment, telling them to count on his support.” In this way, the praise memos Fujimori wrote in 1992, which encouraged certain Colina agents’ promotion, are also considered part of the impunity strategy presented by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
3. Hermoza Ríos’ message to Colina Military Detachment members. According to Public Prosecutor Guillén, the speech Hermoza Ríos made at a meeting held in the Army Intelligence Service in June 1992 (when Colina had already perpetrated various crimes), he clearly expressed his support to the Colina Military Detachment. “With this message, Hermoza Ríos was complying with his role in the chain of command within the power system,” said Guillén.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office further argued that the Colina Military Detachment’s mission “was to kill, not to investigate or capture.”
II. Outside the courtroom
Pro-Fujimori congress member criticizes work of Public Prosecutor’s Office
Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former president and current member of Peru’s Congress, criticized the work of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, publicly declaring: “There is no evidence that could condemn my father. [Representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office] are asked about certain evidence and say there are certain indications, but can’t answer the question. They’ve even changed their theory… They even compare my father with Abimael Guzmán [sentenced leader of subversive group Shining Path] and Hitler, they compare the Peruvian government with Shining Path. This is unacceptable and is getting to the point of ridiculous. The hate toward my father is such that they can make these kinds of irresponsible comparisons.”
In response, Public Prosecutor Guillén denied these accusations and said: “The legal accusation is completely unaltered; the Court wouldn’t even permit a change in the accusation… The Public Prosecutor’s Office has always argued that Fujimori had command over a power system that worked from within the National Intelligence Service. What we are doing now is developing that argument and a greater extent of the case.”
III. Next session
The Court announced that the next session would take place on Monday, Jan. 26.