File photo of former Peruvian presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos at the Callao Naval Base, Lima, Peru, 18 May 2007. EFE/Paolo Aguilar

Sentencing in murder case against Montesinos suspended in Peru

Lima, Oct 31 (EFE).- Former Peruvian presidential advisor Vladimiro Montesinos, who is incarcerated for human rights violations and corruption, virtually attended the reading of the sentence for the murder of union leader Pedro Huilca in 1992 in Lima on Tuesday.

After a few minutes, however, the court suspended the proceedings because the sentence had not yet been determined.

The former intelligence advisor to President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who is also imprisoned for crimes against humanity, is being held at the Callao Naval Base, near Lima.

Montesinos was accused of the crime by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, jointly with members of the undercover military group Colina, who were allegedly the material perpetrators of the crime, and former high commanders of the now disbanded National Intelligence Service.

The victim was the head of the General Confederation of Workers of Peru, the country’s largest trade union confederation when Fujimori introduced a series of economic measures to stop hyperinflation that led to street protests.

On Dec. 18, 1992, Huilca was attacked as he left his home in Lima in the company of his wife and children. After stabbing him, the attackers fled on foot.

A few hours later, the National Police announced that they had arrested the perpetrators, but Huilca’s wife denied that they were the real culprits. The detainees were accused of being members of the left-wing guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso and were convicted of Huilca’s crime.

However, the convictions were overturned in 2003 when it was determined that the Peruvian police had arrested other people and not those responsible for the murder.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in 2004 that the murder was a “covert military intelligence operation” carried out by the Colina group, whose members were also responsible for the massacres in Barrios Altos and La Cantuta, for which former president Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison. EFE