“Mr. Fujimori has no responsibility for the acts that make up this trial.” — Vladimiro Montesinos, in reference to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori´s alleged culpability in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres
The declarative statement was reprinted within countless newspapers across Lima this morning. The headlines, in reference to Montesinos´ much-anticipated testimony Monday, highlight the skepticism of the local press and the collegial atmosphere on display between Fujimori and his closest advisor: “Eternal Love,” “Mientesinos,” (a play on the Spanish verb, “mentir,” meaning to lie) and “Montesinos came to absolve Fujimori.”
Photo credit: peru.com
After three hours of interrogation on the stand, Montesinos abruptly exercised his right to silence. Before doing so, he denied Fujimori´s responsibility as well as his own for the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres. He unequivocally stated that crimes could be committed if in the interest of the state. He affirmed there never was a “low-intensity war” against the Shining Path under Fujimori. He even justified the Peruvian state´s measures to eliminate the Shining Path by drawing historical comparison with those actions taken during the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1986, when proceeds from unauthorized weapon sales to Iran were used to fund anti-communist Contras against the Sandinista insurgent movement in Nicaragua.
On numerous occasions, Fujimori was pictured smiling and laughing. Ronald Gamarra, the attorney representing the families in the trial, said Montesinos was looking for a future amnesty by absolving Fujimori of any responsibility. Gisela Ortiz, sister of one of the assassinated students in the case of La Cantuta, said she was disturbed by Montesinos´ arrogance: “Montesinos came with a script to absolve Fujimori of his responsibility.”
Posted By Ash Kosiewicz
Posted Jul 1st, 2008