Former President Fujimori allegedly targeted new premier Yehude Simon for assassination in 1992

Jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, on trial for allegedly sanctioning the Colina group paramilitary death squad, targeted the new cabinet chief, Yehude Simon, for assassination in the early 1990s, said state prosecutor Avelino Guillén.

“We think that, yes, (Fujimori was involved),” said Guillén, who said that Fujimori also ordered the assassination of Javier Diez Canseco, a former congressman for the Descentralist Democratic Party, or PDD, and a presidential candidate as the head of the Socialist Party of Peru in 2006.

“We must be clear on the fact that the ‘dirty war’ strategy was applied basically as of January and February 1991 on Fujimori’s orders. Not only did he approve and know about it, he also ordered it.”

Fujimori is currently standing trial for allegedly sanctioning the Grupo Colina squad, believed to be responsible for atrocities committed during his 1990-2000 rule. If convicted he could face 30 years in prison and a fine of $3 million.

The Colina group machine-gunned 15 people, including a child, in a tenement building in Lima’s Barrios Altos district in 1991 and kidnapped and murdered nine students and one professor at La Cantuta teachers’ university in 1992. The victims were targeted by the Colina group for suspected collaboration with the Shining Path guerrilla movement.

If Grupo Colina was independent “and made its own decisions,” said Guillén, “they would have carried out the executions. But they were waiting for the green light. We can’t forget that just before they entered (the building) in Barrios Altos, they were given the green light.”

“We will call on Simon to give us his testimony,” Guillén said, as well as Grupo Colina members, including Jesús “Kerosene” Sosa Saavedra” and army Major Santiago Martín Rivas, who was head of the group, as well as retired General Nicolás Hermoza Ríos, who was commander general at the time and is currently serving a sentence for taking $14 million in arms deal gains.

“There are seven testimonies of men (members of Grupo Colina) who said that they were executors and that they had Javier Diez Canseco and Yehude Simon targeted,” said Guillén.

“They said that they had planned and rehearsed, and that they were staying in a hotel located across the street from Yehude Simon’s political headquarters. However, they said that the order, what they call the ‘green light,’ never came, the plan was aborted and they had to leave.”

According to documents retrieved from computers belonging to the National Intelligence Service, SIN, Grupo Colina rehearsed the assasinations in May 1992.  The SIN was controlled by Vladimiro Montesinos, who operated from the shadows for the first seven years of President Fujimori’s government, paying bribes to major political, military and media figures and resorting to more extreme measures when bribes did not work.

Montesinos is currently serving 20 years in prison on multiple convictions for everything from bribing media barons, judges and legislators to selling assault rifles to Colombian FARC guerrillas, and also faces a separate trial accusing him of directing the Colina group.

The only reason the assassinations weren’t carried out, according to Guillén, is because the final orders were never given. “But that does not mean that (Fujimori) cannot be held accountable,” he said.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.