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Victims’ relatives believe court will uphold justice

December 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

 (Family members of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta victims seek justice on behalf of their loved ones. Photo: Praxis)

More than 17 years have passed since the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta murders, where 25 people, including one child, were murdered extrajudicially by the military detachment known as Colina. 

According to legal investigations, Colina began employing criminal strategies, including extrajudicial executions, in 1991 as part of a dirty war policy against subversive groups, directed by former president Alberto Fujimori.  During this time, the family members of these victims never lost strength in their search for the truth.

Now, as the Supreme Court’s Transitory Criminal Court revises the 25-year sentence issued against Fujimori, family members are optimistic that justice will once again prevail.

 “All these years have not passed in vain and we believe it is time to close this long chapter of our struggle for justice,” said Gisela Ortiz, sister of one of the murdered students.  “They were carried off, shot in a field and their bodies were burnt.  This memory will never vanish, but we will have the security that their murderers will be punished and can never again kill innocent people.”

Ortiz expressed confidence that the Transitory Criminal Court, presiding over Fujimori’s appeal, will uphold the 25-year sentence against the former president for crimes against humanity and kidnapping.  She insisted that the trial that led to this conviction respected all of the defendant’s rights, such that no claims of abuse or irregularity can be made.

Raida Cóndor, mother of one of the murdered students, stated that the sentence issued last April 7 gave her and her family the justice that they had been seeking for so long.  Now, she said they have confidence that the new court will uphold the former president’s conviction due to the overwhelming evidence against him. 

“I thank God above all and I am sure that he will give this court the ability to carry out justice,” said Cóndor.  “This new court has the task of not allowing Fujimori to have impunity.  I don’t know about law, I only know that I lost my son, who was innocent — there was no evidence or indication linking him to subversive groups.  Fujimori, on the other hand, has evidence that condemns him,” she told fujimoriontrial.org.

Like Ortíz and Cóndor, all the family members of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta victims are anticipating the court’s ruling on the appeal, to be issued in the coming weeks.  The court could modify, uphold or annul the 25-year sentence against Fujimori, ordering a retrial.  Meanwhile, the family members keep up hopes a that the sentence will be upheld in order to finally close the long road to justice. 

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