Former president of Peru’s Supreme Council of Military Justice arrested in Mexico

Mexican police arrested on Thursday the former president of Peru’s Supreme Council of Military Justice, Guido Guevara, who is wanted in Peru for allegations of embezzlement and criminal conspiracy, the office of Mexico’s Attorney General said in a press release.

Guevara was detained by federal agents in Mexico’s Morelos state and is being held in a facility in Mexico City, pending extradition to Lima.

Guevara is accused of being part of a criminal organization led by Vladimiro Montesinos, Peru’s former spy chief and adviser to jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori. Guevara was allegedly responsible for illegally transferring funds from the Supreme Council of Military Justice to the National Intelligence Service.

A master of subterfuge, Montesinos cultivated an atmosphere of paranoia and fear among Peru’s political, business and military elite with rumors that he kept a vast collection of wiretapped phone conversations and videos documenting orgies, illicit drug use and myriad acts of corruption.

Montesinos is currently serving 20 years at the top-security naval prison in the port of Callao on multiple convictions for everything from bribing media barons, judges and legislators to selling assault rifles to Colombian FARC guerrillas.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Aurelio Pastor said in a press release Wednesday Peru’s cabinet approved to send a request to the United States to extradite former military lieutenant David Castañeda for his role in the 1985 Accomarca massacre of 69 Indian peasants in Peru’s southern Andes.

“The government of Peru has approved the active extradition and will therefore have to send the request to the United States, where Castañeda is located,” Pastor said.

Four army patrol units took part in the massacre of 23 children, 16 elderly men and 30 women in the village of Accomarca on Aug. 14, 1985. The military suspected the village had been cooperating with the Maoist-inspired Shining Path insurgency during its violent campaign to overthrow the government.

Castañeda’s unit – known as the Tiger Patrol – was responsible for blocking the village exits to prevent civilians from escaping.

Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated that more than 69,000 people were killed during the nation’s 1980−2000 internal armed conflict, in which thousands of poor campesinos were caught in the crossfire between a bloody Maoist Shining Path insurgency and brutal government backlash.

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