Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Montesino's Out Early?  The Supreme Court of Peru has reduced the prison sentence of Vladimir Montesinos, Peru's former Intelligence Minister, from 25 years to 20 years.  Montesinos was originally convicted of crimes against humanity for operating death squads during anti-terror campaigns in the 1990s (remember Shining Path and Tupat Maru - the group that held hostages in the Japanese Embassy for months?).  The Court decided the evidence supported only the lesser charge of civil rights violations.

Good Ruling? Possibly, but the real problem is that Montesinos abused his Intelligence Ministry to blackmail half the country and run a shadow cleptocracy throughout most of the years Alberto Fujimori was in power. Vlad's on the right in the photo, counting a $2 Million payment he received to arrange an appointment to a military court judgeship.  If he had been tried for these crimes, he would be serving multiple life sentences and never see the outside of a jail cell again.  The human rights charges were a way for Peru to put Montesinos away without involving the many "reputable" citizens who helped manage Montesino's cleptocracy, and now the human rights fig leaf seems to be slipping.

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