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Former Peruvian intelligence chief gets 19 years in prison for 1992 massacre of farmers

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The intelligence chief of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years and eight months in prison in connection with the 1992 massacre of six suspected rebels in central Peru.

Vladimiro Montesinos, already in prison due to previous convictions, earlier this week pleaded guilty to charges of homicide, murder and forced disappearance for ordering the slayings of the six farmers in the town of Pativilca. The six were accused of being members of a rebel group, taken from their homes by soldiers and executed.

A former military officer and a lawyer for drug traffickers in the 1980s, Montesinos became intelligence chief after Fujimori was elected president in 1990. Fujimori, who also faces charges in the case, has not pleaded guilty and a trial is expected on his role.

The former president, now 85, was released from prison in December, after Peru’s constitutional court ruled that a presidential pardon that had been awarded to Fujimori in 2017 should be upheld. Fujimori had been serving a 25-year sentence in connection with the slayings of 25 Peruvians by death squads in the 1990s.

Montesinos has been in prison since 2001, charged with numerous counts of corruption schemes and human rights violations. He remains in a prison by the Pacific ocean that he himself helped design at the time he enjoyed power during the Fujimori government from 1990 to 2000.

His actions led to the collapse of Fujimori’s presidency, after clandestine tapes emerged that showed him paying bribes to congressmen, businessmen and media moguls, in an effort to buy support for Fujimori’s government.

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