January 16, 2011
Gen. Otto Guibovich, who was army chief until December and ordered the report in 2009, told IPS:
The report, presented in November, claims that army atrocities were the work of individuals and did not form part of military doctrine. It emphasizes that counterinsurgency manuals do not recommend wiping out populations, but winning over hearts and minds.
Attorney Karim Ninaquispe of the Runamasinchiqpaq human rights association (ADEHR), representing massacre survivors at the highlands village of Accomarca, asserts that the lack of a paper trail does not mean military impunity. He told IPS:
"In Honor of the Truth" also maintains that the Army Intelligence Service (SIE) "death squad" known as the Colina Group was never officially part of the army. The Colina Group carried out the notorious Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres in 1991 and 1992, in which a total of 25 civilians were killed. Former president Alberto Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence in connection with the killings. "No detachment, group, unit, department or division under that name exists or existed in the army's records," says the report reads. (IPS, Dec. 28)
In October, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the extradition of retired army officer Telmo Hurtado, who fled to Miami in 2002 to escape trial for the Aug. 14, 1985 massacre of 69 people in the Andean village of Accomarca. He was arrested in Miami in April 2007 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for lying on his visa application, claiming that he had no criminal record. In March 2008, a federal judge in Miami ordered him to pay $37 million in reparations to two survivors of Accomarca, and recommended his extradition to face criminal charges in Lima. The 11th Circuit turned down Hurtado's habeas corpus application, ruling that Peru's request for extradition of Hurtado is valid. "I want to look him in the eye and hear him tell the whole truth," Emiliano Quispe, head of the Association of Relatives of the Victims of Political Violence in Accomarca, told IPS. (IPS, Nov. 5)