Former SIN chief Julio Salazar Monroe convicted for Colina group death squad massacre

A former chief of Peru’s National Intelligence Service was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison Tuesday for the notorious 1992 kidnapping and murders of a professor and nine student from La Cantuta University by the Colina group paramilitary death squad.

The court tribunal led by Judge Inés Villa Bonilla found retired army Gen. Julio Salazar Monroe guilty for his part in directing the Colina group’s covert operations.

The death squad operated out of the Army Intelligence Service Headquarters as part of a “low intensity” war allegedly sanctioned by former President Alberto Fujimori against Shining Path guerrillas and suspected sympathizers of their Maoist-inspired insurgency. Fujimori, whose decade-long authoritarian regime crumbled in 2000 amid mounting corruption scandals, is currently facing a separate trial for Colina group massacres.

In its verdict, the court reportedly established as a factual point that the Colina group operated with Fujimori’s consent — a determination that has not yet been reached in his ongoing trial.

Also sentenced to 15-year prison terms Tuesday were ex-Colina group members Fernando Lecca Sequen, José Alarcón Gonzales and Orlando Vera Navarrete.

On July 18, 1992, Professor Hugo Muñoz Sánchez and nine students — Roberto Edgar Teodoro Espinoza, Luis Enrique Ortiz Perea, Armando Richard Amaro Cóndor, Marcelino Manuel Rosales Cárdenas, Heráclides Pablo Meza, Juan Gabriel Mariños Figueroa, Dora Oyague Fierro, Bertila Lozano Torres and Felipe Flores Chipana — were kidnapped from La Cantuta University.Their burned remains were later discovered in shallow graves on the outskirts of the capital.

Fujimori is charged in connection with those murders, as well as the Nov. 3, 1991, attack in Lima’s Barrios Altos district, when hooded Colina group members stormed into a squalid tenement building and opened fire on partygoers with submachine guns fitted with silencers, killing 15 people. One of the victims was an 8-year-old boy, who was struck by 11 bullets.

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