Peru's Fugitive Spy Chief Arrested; Questions Raised about His CIA Relationship
Interview by Between the Lines' Denise Manzari.
Vladimiro Montesinos, former Peruvian spy chief and right-hand man to ousted Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, was arrested in Caracas, Venezuela on June 23. He managed to evade an international manhunt for eight months, but now faces a possible life sentence on charges of weapons trafficking, human rights abuses and corruption.
Fifty-six-year-old Montesinos was flown in handcuffs and a bulletproof vest to Lima and was transferred to a high security prison for interrogation. The de-facto head of Peru's intelligence service, Montesinos collaborated for years with the CIA, managing a large Peruvian anti-drug operation set up by the CIA in the early 1990s. Even though Montesinos was considered a controversial figure for years by the Clinton administration, American officials went to him to protect U.S. business interests in Peru and lobby for human rights votes against Cuba in The Hague.
Larry Burns is the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the relationship between the U.S. and Vladimiro Montesinos and the role that relationship may have played in the conviction and imprisonment of U.S. citizen Lori Berenson. Berenson was recently convicted in a second trial of collaborating with Peruvian guerillas and was sentenced to 20 years in jail. (A RealAudio Version Of This Interview May Be Found At http://www.btlonline.org)
For more information contact the Council on Hemispheric Affairs by calling (202) 216-9261 or visit their Web site at www.coha.org and www.freelori.org