Lima, 27 Nov. A retired officer of the National Police of Peru (PNP) was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the forced disappearance, in 1984, of journalist Hilario Ayuque Zúñiga in the southern Andean region of Huancavelica, the Public Ministry reported Thursday in a statement.
The sentence was issued by the Fourth Specialized Transitory Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice against retired officer Raúl Hebert Manyari Castellares, a former member of the now defunct Republican Guard, detailed an official statement.
The court also ordered Manyari to pay 150,000 soles (about $38,400) in civil damages, as well as disqualification from obtaining “a mandate, position, job or commission of a public nature” for five years.
The case was brought by the Second National Superior Criminal Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Human Rights, Interculturality and Terrorism crimes, in charge of the prosecutor Luis Valdivia, who also presented a request for an arrest warrant for the sentenced person.
The statement detailed that, during the oral trial, Valdivia confirmed that the former officer was the “direct author” of the disappearance of Ayuque Zúñiga, who was a librarian in the Provincial Municipality of Huancavelica, as well as a journalistic correspondent and union leader.
The prosecutor pointed out that the sentenced man took part in a raid on the journalist’s home, “which deprived the victim of his freedom” on September 20, 1984.
He stressed that despite the fact that the Public Ministry accredited his presence in that arrest, Manyari “did not comply with the duty to provide the necessary information to cease Ayuque Zúñiga’s status as a disappeared person, thus configuring the criminal category of forced disappearance.”
The court in charge of the case also declared the prosecutor’s request to search for the remains of Ayuque Zúñiga well founded, for which it ordered the State “to adopt all the necessary measures for the exploration, exhumation, identification and dignified restitution of the remains to his next of kin.” , in compliance with international standards in cases of forced disappearance”. EFE