Peru: Treatment of Fujimori's former aides, security detail and members of staff after his resignation; protection available to former aides of Japanese or Chinese ethnicity (Nov. 2000-Nov. 2001)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||4 December 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PER37921.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Peru: Treatment of Fujimori's former aides, security detail and members of staff after his resignation; protection available to former aides of Japanese or Chinese ethnicity (Nov. 2000-Nov. 2001), 4 December 2001, PER37921.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be936.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The web of corruption being unraveled after Fujimori's resignation (November 2000) proved to be both extensive and powerful, involving top officers of all branches of the Armed Forces (Latinamerica Press 30 Apr. 2001, 6). Individual officers have been sought and in some cases arrested and prosecuted for particularly outstanding crimes, such as involvement in organizing the violence that disrupted an opposition demonstration on 28 July 2000 (La República 13 Sept. 2001), as well as the organization of death squads under the cover of counter-insurgency efforts in the early 1990s, who were responsible for a number of torture deaths and massacres (AP 26 Mar. 2001).
These included an elite group of male and female military officers forming a death squad known as "Grupo Colina," reporting to the Intelligence Service and, according to statements reportedly made by the group's head, to Fujimori and his two advisors, his brother Santiago Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos (AgenciaPeru 27 May 2001). By the end of August 2001, the Congress of Peru reportedly established that Fujimori knew, supported and protected the crimes committed by the Colina group (ibid. 4 Sept. 2001). Although some of the group's members have been arrested, at least four had remained at large: its leader Santiago Martín Rivas, as well as Fernando Rodríguez Zalbabescoa, Carlos Pichilingue Guevara and Marco Flores Alván (ibid.). Two men described as "extremely trusted" by Montesinos (hombres de extrema confianza) were reportedly detained, at least one of them for his role in telephone eavesdropping (ibid.).
The most important figure of the Fujimori government to be arrested is the de facto head of the National Intelligence Service and Fujimori's close advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos: among other alleged crimes, he had developed a vast archive of recordings of meetings to blackmail a variety of political and public figures, some 2,000 of which were recovered and are being used in corruption investigations (LARR 27 Feb. 2001; The Economist 30 June 2001). He was involved with a number of military officers to smuggle 10,000 assault rifles--purchased from Jordan for the Peruvian Army--to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) (El Comercio 19 Sept. 2001a; La República 27 Sept. 2001).
Among the most recent and highest-profile persons to be arrested for corruption, are the former chief of the joints chiefs of staff of the armed forces, army general Carlos Indacochea Ballon, and two former chiefs of military regions (El Comercio 19 Sept. 2001b). The three were arrested on a variety of charges, including illicit enrichment, as their monthly salaries could not explain their millionaire fortunes (ibid.). As they were arrested, an investigating anti-corruption judge extended for 60 more days the deadline for completing the case against a total of nine Division Generals (Generales de División, the highest rank in the Peruvian army) facing, among other charges, indictment for illicit enrichment (ibid.).
Other high-profile detainees include Victor Joy Way, former minister of finance and later minister of the presidency (roughly equivalent to Deputy Prime Minister in Canada), found to have two Swiss bank accounts worth about US$10 million (La República 6 Sept. 2001), and Alejandro Rodriguez Medrano, former chief justice (vocal supremo) of the judiciary accused--among other things--of coercing other judges (ibid. 7 Sept. 2001).
By the end of September 2001 at least 878 persons had been implicated in the Fujimori-Montesinos network of corruption, with 114 persons being held in detention, 276 appearing before hearings at the time, and 110 considered fugitives (ibid. 29 Sept. 2001).
The extensive web of corruption has continued to unfold as of late-September 2001, with Peruvian media reporting every day new revelations and officials announcing charges against a wide variety of public figures (Office of Transition Initiatives Oct. 2001).
The State Attorney Office (Procuraduría de la República) produced an organizational chart of the web of corruption of the Fujimori administration, which indicates that shows Montesinos, Fujimori and his Defence Minister, General Hermoza, at the helm (AgenciaPeru May 2001). The chart shows three groups of individuals directly reporting to the heads, describing them as Operational (names provided: R. Huamán and M. Aybar), Adminsitrative (three unnamed, and first names for only two: Maruja and Ramos), and Advisors (names provided: Merino and Huertas) (ibid.). The chart also indicates five branches or areas of operation--electoral, judicial, political, business and military--providing some of their key names and activities (ibid.). One report indicates that the head of drivers reporting to Vladimiro Montesinos, known only as "Acuario," was in charge of distributing brown envelopes with money, presumably to those in the corruption network, after receiving them from the assistant of Montesinos named Maruja (ibid. 24 July 2001).
One of the few specific references to personal security personnel found in relation to corruption investigations is a report that mentions two bodyguards as an apparent link between some of the "trusted men" (hombres de confianza) of Vladimiro Montesinos (ibid. 19 Jan 2001). The report indicates that one of the bodyguards participated in electoral propaganda for a state institution in 2000 (ibid.). The "personal guard" (guardia personal) of Vladimiro Montesinos, police coronel Manuel Aybar Marca, is mentioned as the owner of a security company who gave a car to an opposition congressman who defected in 2000 to join the pro-Fujimori caucus, and whose direct links to Montesinos and three state institutions have come under investigation (ibid. 11 Apr. 2001). Another report names two bodyguards of Montesinos: Wilbert Ramos and Mario Ruiz (ibid. 24 July 2001). Manuel Aybar (or Aivar) Marca, described as the "right-hand man" (brazo derecho) of Montesinos, was recently arrested in the United States and scheduled for deportation on 30 November 2001 to face at least seven judicial proceedings related to a variety of corruption charges (Editora Peru 30 Nov. 2001).
Another reference to bodyguards and to close associates of possible Japanese ethnicity is a report citing the lawyer of Fujimori's ex-wife, Susana Higuchi: according to this, the brother-in-law and former ambassador to Japan, Victor Aritomi, was Fujimori's "front man" for coded bank accounts in Asia (APRODEH 23 July 2001). The information was reportedly given to the Office of the Attorney General (Fiscalía de la Nación) by a nephew of Fujimori and "family bodyguards" (guardaespaldas de la familia) who belonged to the National Intelligence Service, SIN (ibid.). The most recent reference found to Aritomi indicates that Japanese authorities rejected a request for arrest (solicitud de arresto) sent by a Peruvian judge, because the crimes attributed to him in Peru--participation in providing US$15 million to Vladimiro Montesinos and being a link for president Fujimori's deposits in Asian banks--reportedly do not constitute a crime in Japan (24 Horas 30 Nov. 2001). The Peruvian judge who sent the request for Aritomi's arrest is reportedly investigating corruption by Fujimori, his personal network of collaborators (su propia red de colaboradores) and some of his brothers (ibid.).
No references to a particular protection available, targeting or a predominant number of persons of Japanese or Chinese ascent being included in the investigations and arrests related to corruption during the Fujimori administration could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), Lima. 23 July 2001. "Derechos Humanos."
AgenciaPeru [Lima]. 4 September 2001. Jerónimo Centurión and Milagros Trujillo. "Colina y la matanza de Huancayo: La recompensa de Fujimori."
_____. 24 July 2001. "Hablan 'Acuario' y Matilde Pinchi Pinchi: El delivery de Montesinos."
_____. 27 May 2001. Cecilia Valenzuela. "La historia del escuadrón de la muerte: Primero Escorpio, luego Colina."
_____. May 2001. "Organigrama de la Mafia."
_____. 11 April 2001. Silvia Cuevas. "Historia de un tránsfuga: Descubriendo a Polack."
_____. 19 January 2001. "Relaciones peligrosas: Unidos por el miedo."
Associated Press (AP) Worldstream. 26 March 2001. "Peru Authorities Search For Death Squad Members in Massacre Probe." (NEXIS)
The Economist [New York]. 30 June 2001. U.S. Edition. "Yes, He's Back." (NEXIS)
Editora Peru [Lima]. 30 November 2001. "Aivar Marca habría sido trasladado a Peru esta madrugada."
El Comercio [Lima].19 September 2001a. "Ordenan detener a dos más."
_____. 19 September 2001b. "Generales serán juzgados por peculado y enriquecimiento ilícito."
La Republica [Lima]. 29 September 2001. Ana Veliz. "A diez meses de investigación de la red Montesinos-Fujimori hay 878 implicados, revela Ugaz."
_____. 27 September 2001. Miguel Gutiérrez R. "Ex jefe del SIN se acoge a ley y revela secretos de Fujimori y Montesinos."
_____. 13 September 2001. "Confirman arresto domiciliario para Dianderas."
_____. 7 September 2001. "Detienen al juez de la mafia montesinista."
_____. 6 September 2001. "Silvana Vega, Lina Godoy and Ana Véliz. "Acorralado por las pruebas Joy Way se entregó a la justicia."
Latin American Regional Reports (LARR): Andean Group [London]. 27 February 2001. "Public Hooked on Video Soap Opera; Heads Roll as Evidence Pours in of Montesinos's Network." (NEXIS)
Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 30 April 2001. "Military Crisis Averted."
Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), Washington DC. October 2001. Field Report: Peru September 2001.
24 Horas [Lima]. 30 November 2001. "Cuñado de Alberto Fujimori tampoco sería extraditado de Japón."