Situation of the Colina group; whether they target people who could give evidence to discredit them if they were to be held responsible for crimes; protection available (20 November 2000 - 2002) [PER38907.E]

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights recently annulled amnesty laws granted to members of the paramilitary "death squad" Colina Group by former President Fujimori in 1995 (HRW 2002). Consequently, the current Peruvian government has called for the "capture" of former Colina Group personnel, "believed to be responsible for the murder of 25 people in Lima in 1991-1992" (Financial Times 14 Feb. 2002).

According to Human Rights Watch, by June 2001, "nineteen alleged Colina Group members were already facing charges for the [3 Nov. 1991] Barrios Altos massacre" (2002). The Financial Times reported that Peruvian police arrested Pedro Suppo, the "fourth member of the [Colina] be captured in recent months" (14 Feb. 2002). In March 2002, Angel Felipe Sauni Pomaya, an ex-agent of the Army Intelligence Service (Servicio de Inteligencia del Ejercito, SIE) and an integral part of the Colina Group was arrested for the 1996 "attacks" (atentado) against television station Red Global and Radio Samoa (La Republica 12 Mar. 2002).

Vladimero Montesinos Torres, organizer of the Colina Group (La Republica 29 June 2002) and former advisor to President Fujimori, "is in jail and faces dozens of charges, including corruption and homicide" (AP Worldstream 1 Mar. 2002). Moreover, reports demonstrate that former President Fujimori "was aware of the existence of the Colina Group because he signed documents decorating them for the work performed." (La Republica 29 June 2002). Former intelligence agent, Leonor La Rosa, disclosed that Fujimori "met regularly" with "alleged Colina leader Maj. Martin Rivas and other lower ranking Colina members..." (AP Worldstream 6 Mar. 2002).

In the conclusion of commissions set up to investigate the Fujimori administration

former President Fujimori will be charged with conspiracy in the torturing of journalist Fabian Salazar, and in the massacres at Barrios Altos, La Cantuta, and the assassination of union leader Pedro Huilca Tecse and agent Mariela Barreto of the SIE [Army Intelligence Service]. Montesinos Torres was accused of these same crimes, given that he was the one who organized the Colina Group (La Republica 29 June 2002).

Reports of hand grenades found on city streets in Lima and other cities in Peru "have suggested that remnants of the Colina paramilitary group were seeking to destabilize Toledo's government, newly inaugurated on July 28" (AFP 9 Aug. 2001). Nevertheless, steps have been taken by the Peruvian government to compensate past victims of the Colina Group (AP Worldstream 22 Aug. 2001). In August 2001, Peruvian President Toledo and Justice Minister Fernando Olivera gave 3.3 million dollars to survivors and relatives of the Barrios Altos massacre in 1991 (ibid.). In addition, Peruvian President Toledo stated "this is a government ... that has taken a firm decision to do absolutely everything in its power to keep what has occurred in the last 20 years from happening again" (ibid.).

No information about whether former Colina group members target people who give evidence to discredit them or of the availability of protection for said persons could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Please refer to PER34490.FE of 6 June 2000, PER37921.E of 4 December 2001 and the March 2002 IRB Issue Paper Peru: Selected Issues Since the Fall of Fujimori, for background information about the Colina Group.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 9 August 2001. "Government Warning After Hand Grenades Found in Peruvian Cities." (NEXIS)

AP Worldstream. 6 March 2002. "Ex-Agent Says Fujimori met regularly with Peruvian Death Squad." (NEXIS)

_____. 1 March 2002. "Witness Says Incinerator May Have Been Used by Peru Death Squad." (NEXIS)

_____. 22 August 2001. "Peru Compensates Relatives For 1991 Massacre." (NEXIS)

Financial Times. 14 February 2002. "Peru-Capture Another Member of Secret Military Cell "Colina" Captured in Peru." (NEXIS)

Human Rights Watch (HRW). Human Rights Watch World Report 2002. [Accessed 15 Aug. 2002]

La Republica [Lima, in Spanish]. 29 June 2002. "Investigative Commissions Present Conclusions on Fujimori, Montesinos." (FBIS Translated text 7 July 2002/World News Connection) [Accessed 13 Aug. 2002]

_____. 12 March 2002. "Capturan a otro miembro del grupo paramilitar Colina." [Accessed 20 Aug. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases


World News Connection

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