Ex-President Alberto Fujimori found guilty of sanctioning paramilitary death squad

Peru’s ex-President Alberto Fujimori was found guilty on all charges Tuesday for sanctioning a paramilitary death squad that gunned down 25 people in two notorious massacres during the first two years of his 10-year authoritarian rule.

Chief Judge César San Martín announced the unanimous verdict by the three judge panel at 9:26 a.m., bringing to a close a 15-month trial.

Fujimori, 70, who ruled Peru with an iron fist during his 1990-2000 reign, could face up to 30 years in prison when sentence is handed down later in the day.

The former Peruvian leader was accused of knowing about, and not intervening to halt the operations of the Colina group, which the court found was an integral part of Fujimori’s counter-insurgency strategy against Maoist Shining Path guerrillas.

The Colina group machine gunned 15 people, including an 8-year-old boy, in a the courtyard of a tenement building in Lima’s Barrios Altos district in 1991 and kidnapped and murdered nine students and one professor at La Cantuta University in 1992.

He also was found guilty of kidnapping of Peruvian investigative journalist Gustavo Gorriti and  businessman Samuel Dyer during a “self-coup” in 1992 when he ordered Congress and the courts closed.

Fujimori is already serving a six-year prison sentence for abuse of power in an unrelated case.

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