Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fujimori Fudged the Books

LIMA - Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori invoked his right to remain silent today at his murder trial, frustrating prosecutors hoping to show he relied on his right-hand man to oversee massacres of suspected leftist insurgents.

Fujimori, 69, declined to answer questions about how much power his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, had during his 10-year rule that ended in 2000, at the twilight of a bloody civil war in which 70,000 people died or disappeared.

------ Fujimori was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000, then fled to Japan when facing allegations of corruption, bribery, misuse of government funds, and death squads. After 5 years in Japan Fuji returned to Chile and in September 2007 was extradited back to Peru. Someone must have whispered in his ear he had a future in Peru; his daughter is a member of parliament there and he remains popular with authoritarian types in Peru.

Supposedly Alberto was born in Miraflores, Lima, however, opponents claim his birth certificate was altered and he was born in Japan; a fact that would have prohibited his running for president in Peru. His parents also reportedly entered Peru in 1934 and claimed 2 children; Alberto is the second born of four siblings. But if a person has climbed into the right pockets their past history is no obstacle to ambition.

I discovered years ago that in Latin America hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Japanese landed in South and Central America during the 1930s to the end of WWII. Communists, fascists, Jews, Gentiles, and Nazis; a cultural cornucopia of people with money and means to start anew. Approximately 65 percent of the surnames in an Argentine phone book are Italian.

Alberto was elected in 1990, just after Poppy Bush's magnificent loud rock music defeat and capture of Manny "CIA payroll" Noriega in Panama, or a.k.a. Operation Just Cause. (Just cause Noriega was skimming far too much of the drug and gun running profits for himself.) Poppy Bush quickly installed a new Panamanian government - complete with the kind of bankers and government heads the cartels needed. Business as usual.

In 2000 Vlad (Fuji's hitman) fled to Panama. Why not, he had allegedly done a lot of banking in Panama and/or Swiss banks, around $50 million. Not bad for a guy who's government salary was $18,000 annually. " Initially nobody wanted Montesinos: Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and a number of other countries refused Montesinos’s request for political asylum. But Washington officials (Clinton's watch) made a few phone calls. Virtually overnight, the government of Panama changed its mind and allowed the butcher Montesinos to enter Panama on a tourist visa."

According to Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti, Montesinos was a CIA asset who in 1991 "took over command of nearly all of the joint Peru-U.S. anti-drug operations and developed an anti-drug unit within the National Intelligence Service (SIN). Now, with the fox guarding the hen house, cooperation in anti-drug efforts took a downward turn, and the SIN anti-drug unit committed human rights and other abuses, but did not catch drug traffickers." (No other country has succeeded in winning the Nixon instigated global "war on drugs" either.)

But alas, Vlad the tourist didn't have the friends he thought he had in Panama and returned within a few weeks to Peru, where he found he also had few friends - and his boss, President Fujimori, high-tailed it to Japan and faxed his resignation back to Peru - Montesinos might talk, talk, talk, and Fujimori's popularity had plummeted.

A year ago, Montesinos was "... sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly selling arms to Colombia's FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). This sentence, which follows 12 other sentences since Montesinos was detained in Venezuela in June of 2001, is the longest and is the one that he must serve out, since in Peru sentences are not cumulative. Apparently, Montesinos procured the arms from Jordan, and sold them to the FARC, "committing crimes of violation of a foreign state's sovereignty, political conspiracy, and illegal supplying of arms to subversive groups." He was also convicted of embezzlement, corruption, conspiracy. Montesinos may or may not someday be found comfortably drinking beer on a Miami beach, with the millions not found.

Recently ... "members of a Peruvian congressional investigating committee have been in Panama to solicit this country's official help in tracking down some $430 million in ill-gotten profits that former President Alberto Fujimori and his erstwhile security chief Vladimiro Montesinos allegedly deposited in Panamanian banks. The legislators met with judges, Banking Superintendent Delia Cárdenas, officials from the Public Ministry and members of Panama's Legislative Assembly.

The mission was to freeze funds that the visiting delegation claimed belongs to the Peruvian government. Congressmen Pedro Morales and Manuel Darment Egoaguirre and Congresswoman Julia Hernández alleged that the money is public property because it was skimmed from the proceeds of privatizations that took place during the Fujimori administration. Morales claimed that sources told them that the money was deposited in Panama by two companies, Treves Intora and W21."

"Sources" told them, likely after some serious interrogation methods.

Often, in the modern political arena, when political puppets are caught heavy-handed in the till, a coup, a scandal or invasion bring them down; sometimes the "rebels" or the opposition are allowed to oust them. Juan and Eva Peron, Marcos, Shah of Iran, Noriega, Bhutto, Musharraf - if they behave, steal little - they may rule for a lifetime or for generations (Duvaliers, Somozas, Pinochet, Trujillos, etc.) and at the least leave office very, very wealthy - but more recently familial and/or lifetime rule has become too obvious and a new face and "elections" are the general rule in so-called "democracies." But even so, uncooperative kings and queen of hearts can die by accident and be replaced with more agreeable heirs.

Montesinos and Fujimori between them have reportedly stolen nearly 500 million, that's 1/2 billion dollars, during their decade of power in Peru. Studying Peru's GDP, purchasing parity, poverty rate, labor force, revenues and expenditures - much of that half a billion had to come from sources outside Peruvian government coffers. I.e. stolen from sources much more powerful than either of these two political dirtbags. And who knows better who is plundering the profits of the global bosses than the international bankers.

Montesinos and Fujimori, like Noriega before them, were not brought down because human rights organizations suddenly point to death squads and/or opposition pols accuse them of corruption. Their crime is stealing profits from a global power elite.

The capo and his crew can kill and steal from we the people - but don't steal from the international dons. Montesinos and Fujimori (and Saddam) are recent whack jobs. (Another example is Pinochet, dead finally at 91, his multi-millions are frozen assets; the money will return to the powers that be.) The smart political capos restrain themselves; write books and create foundations for more wealth - and keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

Global bosses care not what ideology or political monster rule a country - as long as their profits are not tampered or hampered; in fact, for them, there's much, much more profit in human suffering than succoring.

Politics and wealth are the cover for an organized system of global crime.

Capos can be recognized as they wear a tux or designer gown, rub elbows with their royal bosses, and often buy respectable reputations will ill-gotten wealth. They dazzle you and convince you they're good people - all walking above the law while babbling about the rule of law, and posturing with morality while practicing debauchery.

Marinated in American myth, as most folks are, it may be difficult to look upon our own social and political figureheads as nothing more than expendable, tin-pot liars with claws who made good - and who are obligated not to the American people - but a small international and very old criminal hierarchy.

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