Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Peru: Victims "Not Terrorists"

Benedicto Jimenez was head of GEIN, Peru's special intelligence group, and in charge of the 1992 operation that caught Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman. He is currently testifying in Fujimori's trial and has claimed that the victims of state violence were not terrorists or insurgents. Specifically, he is convinced that the Cantuta students were nothing to do with the attack on Calle Tarata.

[I'm hardly an expert, but from what I've read it seems to me that Jimenez was both high up in the Peruvian authorities, and a good guy; which is not a particularly common combination. While Fujimori, Montesinos, and their cronies were busy persecuting indigenous peasants and insisting that they needed to dissolve the democratic state in order to win the war, he was off capturing the terrorist's main chief without even telling the president until afterwards. Some suggest that this was because he wanted to avoid a situation where Fujimori simply had Guzman executed on the sly, without going through a trial. Whatever, it seems that Fujimori wasn't all that thrilled with the method of capture - you'd think that the GEIN team would've been made for life, since they had just caught the Peruvian Osama Bin Laden without even a fight, but no. Soon afterwards some of them were quietly demoted. Anyway, it's clear that Jimenez is not a Fujimorista.]

"Las victimas de La Cantuta y de Barrios Altos no eran terroristas" (La Republica)

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