The Montesinos' Tapes

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Thu Feb 8 07:58:10 MST 2001

Victor Venero, one of Montesinos' associates, was freed last week in
Florida, under a $1,500 bail.      This despite being caught with at
east one $70,000,000 US banking account.     Money laundering apparently
doesn't draw stiff penalties there, even though it most certainly is
connected with drug trafficking and other criminal acts.      It must be
part of Bush's 'compassionate conservatism'.

Similarly, allowing Montesinos to 'disappear' shows the criminal
complicity of both the Clinton and Bush Administrations in his crimes.
However, Montesinos left beind the evidence nicely recorded, even though
both he and Fujimori are now obviously still being protected.

This scandal has elements of the Clinton sex scandals, J. Edgar Hoover's
methodology, and the Nixon tapes, all rolled into one.       With a
touch of the publication of Czarist documents thrown in!

Too bad that the world press is not reporting much on this comic affair.
It's as much about the US, as it is about Peru.

Tony Abdo
Secret sex videos lift the lid on corruption reveal mass bribes and
A flood of tapes now airing on TV chat shows uncover the corrupt heart
of Peru, reports Peter Beaumont

Sunday February 4, 2001
The Observer

At first there were barely a dozen: secret videotapes leaked to
opposition parties by dissident officers in Peru's military, hinting
darkly at the corruption of an entire society's political, military and
cultural elite by ex-President Alberto Fujimori and his fugitive spy
chief Vladimir Montesinos.
Four months later, more than 2,300 of the surveillance tapes have been
seized. Prepared secretly by Montesinos in the course of a decade, they
show in extraordinary detail how the two men corrupted senators,
editors, businessmen and army chiefs in South America's biggest
political scandal in decades.

Suddenly the most closely guarded secrets of the Fujimori years are in
the open, scandalising and intriguing Peruvian society in equal measure
as new tapes emerge almost daily, detailing the sexual peccadillos and
graft of Peru's élite that were then used by Montesinos to blackmail,
reward and control them for Fujimori.

The tapes have emerged like a vast, unravelling South American soap
opera, dominating the television and radio chat shows and filling local
papers and magazines since the first revelations in September.

And the wounds that the tapes have opened in Peruvian society are
unlikely to heal for a long time.

Already they have damaged several of the candidates for the 8 April
elections to replace Fujimori, who was forced to resign and flee the
country in November over corruption allegations.

Fujimori is now in exile in Japan. Montesinos has simply disappeared,
last heard of having plastic surgery to alter his appearance at a
private clinic in Venezuela.

While the absent figures of Fujimori and Montesinos loom large over the
scandal, attention has turned from the fugitives to the luminaries they
implicated in their corruption.

Among those who have already been disgraced by videos already in public
circulation are the editor of the Expreson newspaper, Edu-ardo Cammell
del Solar, who appears in one video recorded by Montesinos in 1998
receiving a bribe of $2 million.

In other videotapes so far released, Montesinos - who was a close
associate of the CIA - is seen manipulating everything from arms deals
to mining concessions to fixing the election won by Fujimori last May
that led to his downfall.
All of Peru is now waiting for details of the contents of the tapes yet
to be examined by the anti-corruption commission overseeing the
unravelling of Fujimori's and Montesino's rule.

Alejandro Toledo, who ran against Fujimori in last year's elections and
is one of the front-runners in the present presidential campaign, has
been forced to admit that a tape exists showing him having extra-marital
sex. Toledo explains his predicament by saying he was kidnapped and set
up by Montesino's agents. Other tapes yet to emerge are reported to show
leading figures patronising a brothel and taking drugs.

In another tape, one that has since disappeared, leading to suspicions
that Montesinos can still count on some of his agents, he is seen
meeting three of the country's most senior judges, including Alipio
Montes de Oca who headed the electoral commission last May. In the video
Montesinos offers Montes de Oca a monthly salary of $10,000.

The scale of the scandal is also causing headaches for those trying to
investigate the scope of the corruption. Peru's congress was last month
forced to suspend the work of a commission investigating the origins of
some $80m held in Montesinos's foreign bank accounts after a tape was
discovered showing one of its members receiving a campaign contribution
from one of Montesinos's allies.

That videotape was particularly shocking to Peruvians because it
apparently showed that congressman Ernesto Gamarra - long one of
Montesinos's most strident public critics - was in the pay of the
spymaster to limit any investigations into his spy network. Gamarra has
denied any wrongdoing, but he has been thrown out of his party.

'The videos show that Montesinos had absolute control over the public
institutions of this country,' José Ugaz, the state attorney who is
leading the government's investigation into the former spy chief's
activities, told the New York Times this weekend. 'And he taped
absolutely everything.' By Ugaz's count, the tapes have already helped
lead to the arrests of eight active and retired generals, one Fujimori
Cabinet Minister, two senior government prosecutors and one mayor.

Now the biggest problem facing the investigators is how to view all the
tapes before the presidential elections. While Montesinos may have been
careless in keeping so much incriminating evidence of his own
wrong-doing, he took the precaution at least of electronically
scrambling much of the material, requiring painstaking decoding.

More information about the Marxism mailing list