Paramilitary death squad leader cites decree 1097 in attempt to halt La Cantuta trial

Martin Rivas

Martin Rivas

Former army Maj. Santiago Martin Rivas, head of the Colina group death squad, has requested a stay of proceedings into his role in the kidnapping and murders of one professor and nine students at La Cantuta university, according to human rights organization Aprodeh.

Rivas made the request invoking article 6 of decree 1097, one of four legislative orders recently enacted by Peru’s Executive which has raised serious concerns among human rights organizations. Critics have described it as a defacto amnesty for Peruvian military men accused of human rights violations.

“After running around for more than 17 years searching for justice for this Cantuta case, fighting against all of the obstacles, from protection from the highest authorities to amnesties enacted,” said Aprodeh lawyer Gloria Cano. “After getting sentences in the international court in order to reopen the trial, they are trying to now, one more time, to get impunity for this case, alleging that it has exceeded the 14 months of preliminary investigations, which is pointed to in legislative decree 1097.”

Rogelio Carbajal Garcia, a member of the Colina group and a confidant of Rivas, has made a similar request, Aprodeh said in a release.

The death squad operated out of the Army Intelligence Service Headquarters as part of a “low intensity” war sanctioned by now jailed former President Alberto Fujimori against Shining Path guerrillas and suspected sympathizers of their Maoist-inspired insurgency.

On July 18, 1992, the Colina group kidnapped the professor and students were kidnapped from La Cantuta University. Their burned remains were later discovered in shallow graves on the outskirts of the capital.

Rivas is currently being tried for the crimes along with Fujimori’s former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos and other military men.

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  1. well these hard men actually were the ones who finally brought peace to peru, where would peru be without them ,its time the people paid their debt to them and let them free ,to have the peace it takes a certain kind of man to keep the peace after the dirty job is done is for another type of man thats just history

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