Strong man from Fujimori, sentenced to 17 years in prison for kidnapping a journalist in Peru

A Peruvian court sentenced Vladimiro Montesinos, the all-powerful intelligence chief of former President Alberto Fujimori, to 17 years in prison for the kidnapping of journalist Gustavo Gorriti, a critic of the autocratic regime, the judiciary announced Thursday.

The sentence for the kidnapping of the then correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El País during the state ‘self-coup’ of April 5, 1992 is considered completed since Montesinos has been in prison since 2001 for a 25-year sentence for violation of human rights.

Judge Miluska Cano indicated that “the sentence imposed of 17 years of imprisonment has the character of a condemnatory, since he (Vladimiro Montesinos) has the status of an inmate (…) currently, in the Ancón I prison uninterruptedly since on June 25, 2001 to the present, time greater than the sentence imposed ”.

The Peruvian judicial system does not add the sentences but imposes the one with the most years in prison over the rest.

Gorriti, who continues to practice journalism, was kidnapped when he was at his home by the military on the night of April 5, 1992. The journalist remained in cells of the Army headquarters, where he hid himself and then tried to make him disappear, according to the complaint. Only the pressure of Spanish diplomacy and the press managed to get him released after a few days.

Along with Montesinos, 76, the justice sentenced half a dozen ex-military men with sentences ranging from 12 to 4 years in prison.

For this case and the killing of 25 people in two paramilitary operations, Alberto Fujimori received a 25-year prison sentence in 2009.

Montesinos, a gray eminence of the Fujimori regime (1990-2000), was sentenced in 2001 to a 25-year prison sentence for the massacre of 15 people – including a child – in Barrios Altos and the forced disappearance of 9 students and a Professor at La Cantuta University, in charge of an Army death squad in the context of the fight against terrorism in 1991 and 1992.

The superspy fled Peru after the fall of Fujimori in November 2000, but after being captured in Caracas the following year, he was extradited from Venezuela by then-president Hugo Chávez.

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