Antauro Humala Transferred To Callao Naval Base

Antauro Humala, the brother of President Ollanta Humala, has been transferred to the high-security Callao Naval Base, Peru’s government said Monday.

The National Penitentiary Institute said in a statement that the transfer was due to “repeated violations of penitentiary regulations by the inmate.”

The penitentiary institute, INPE, also said that it took into consideration the “defiant attitude of the inmate with penitentiary personnel and authorities from the Virgen de la Merced prison” which is in the army compound at the Chorrillos militar academy. It said that Antauro had “used intimidation to receive privileges.”

Hearings into his alleged bribery of prison officials continue now at the Naval Base, where he filed a complaint Tuesday that hooded troops beat him up at the Chorrillos army prison.

At the Naval Base prison, Antauro joins a number of high-profile prisoners, including former Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman and Vladimiro Montesinos, the shadowy spy chief for ex-President Alberto Fujimori, and the recently arrested Shining Path leader Florindo Flores, aka Comrade Artemio.

Antauro Humala is serving a 19-year sentence for the 2005 assault on a police station in the Andean town of Andahuaylas that resulted in the death of four police officers. He was sentenced in September 2011.

Antauro led a group of some 130 ultra-nationalist Etnocaceristas in a New Year’s Day siege of a police station in Andahuaylas, located in Apurimac region in southern Peru. The group took hostages, demanding that then-President Alejandro Toledo resign. The group said that Toledo had sold out Peru to foreign corporate interests – Chilean investors in particular.

The policemen were killed in a roadside ambush during the ensuing three-day standoff. Police snipers killed two of Humala’s men the following day.

At the time, brother Ollanta Humala, now President, was military attaché to the Peruvian Embassy in Seoul.

Antauro is now on trial for allegedly bribing prison officials. He was transferred to the army prison recently from the maximum-security Piedras Gordas prison, on the coast at Ancon, north of Lima. That transfer was one of a number of incidents that led a large number of the general population to perceive that Antauro was receiving government perks.

Ollanta Humala’s popularity dipped following the incidents, which led the President to try to distance himself from his brother in a recent television interview.

“I don’t share anything that he says, does or thinks,” the president said, referring to his brother. “I am completely separated from him.”

New Prison Shifts

Just prior to Antauro’s transfer to Callao, four prisoners serving sentences for terrorism were taken from the Naval Base and transferred to the maximum security prison in Ancon where Antauro had been initially — MRTA leader Victor Polay, serving a 35-year sentence; Peter Cardenas, also MRTA, serving 25 years; and Miguel Rincon, also MRTA, serving 35 years; as well as Shining Path leader Oscar Ramirez, known as Comrade Feliciano, serving 24 years.   

The Minister of Justice said the transfer was temporary and had been requested by INPE as building works are undertaken to expand the facilities at the Naval Base.

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