Ash Kosiewicz

Ash Kosiewicz (Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team): Ash graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 with a dual degree in government and journalism. After graduation, he worked for two years as a child support officer with the Texas Office of the Attorney General. In 2004, he moved to Ecuador, where he lived for 10 months working with a local foundation in Guayaquil to raise funds for a health center project in the rural canton of Santa Lucia. Upon returning from Ecuador, he worked for two years as communicators director with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which provides legal aid to the poor in the United States. At the time of his fellowship, Ash was studying for a master's degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After his fellowship, Ash wrote: "The AP experience has given me another incredibly impactful experience in Latin America. It has given me an incredible story to tell, one that truly leaves people interested though unsure how to respond. I feel like I’ve gone through some pretty intense stuff, and I’ve come out of it stronger and more aware. I know I can handle tough environments, and work in a fast paced environment."

Eternal Love

01 Jul

“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:

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