Adolfo Olaechea interview

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Aug 1 16:26:30 MDT 2003

El Comercio 10th July 2003

Translated from Spanish.

"I am a Maoist Intellectual"

"I find myself in agreement with what has been declared by some
members of the Commission of Truth when they pointed out that the
phenomenon of Sendero Luminoso is not that of madmen or assassins, but
that it concerns a political party"

Madrid.  Adolfo Olaechea shares the  cell he has been occupying since
last Monday in the prison Madrid III (Valdemoro) with five other
offenders, among them Spanish, Colombians and a Turk.  Yesterday, we
were accompanied to the prison gate by his lawyer, Demóstenes Mamani,
also of Peruvian nationality.  We were not allowed to enter because in
extradition cases it takes approximately one month to obtain
authorisation for interviews. However, as he is being provisionally
detained without bail but allowed to communicate, we were able, via
the lawyer Mamani to ask him a series of questions which, together
with the answers, are reproduced below.

Are you a member of Sendero Luminoso (SL)?

No, and I never have been because I live in England.  I am an
intellectual and a political Maoist.  Maoism, in developed and
democratic countries, justifies revolutionary action and violence in
countries where this democracy does not exist or is lacking.  In
countries like England, we Maoists advocate the defence of legal
democracy and the advance of it through peaceful means.

Do you know Abimael Guzman or other members of SL?

I do not know Dr. Guzmán personally nor have I ever communicated with
him or any of his associates, either directly or indirectly. I have
read and studied his works.

Do you agree with the ideology of SL?

I agree with part of it and I disagree with part of it.  At the
moment, from an ideological point of view, I have come to develop the
idea of Justin which can be summed up as follows: "Brothers, you are
being deceived, our interests are the same, we want the same as you
want, the emancipation that I am looking will be yours too".  I find
myself in agreement with what has been declared by some members of the
Commission of Truth when they indicated that the phenomenon of Sendero
Luminoso is not that of madmen or assassins, but that it concerns a
political party.  The internal conflict in Peru will not be resolved
if we do not understand the truth.

Since when have you been living in London and since when do you have
indefinite leave to remain in the country?

I came for the first time in 1967 and was granted indefinite leave in
approximately 1970. Afterwards, I had to renew it because I spent a
few years in the United States. It was granted again in 1984.

How many times have you entered Peru since 1967?

I entered Peru approximately in 1979 and stayed there until April
1984. Later on I married my Dutch wife, Hariette Spierings, on May 5th
1990 in La Punta (Callao). I stayed in Peru for two weeks. We went on
honeymoon to Paracas.  It was at that time that I saw Fujimori for the
first time, at an election campaign meeting in Pisco.  He was unknown
at that time and gave the impression that he was in agreement with the
reasons given by SL for the insurrection.

What kind of work do you do in London?

I am a translator and a market research consultant.

What was your reason for coming to Spain?

I was contracted by Yamaha to carry out a market research study among
their dealers.  I arrived on the 30th of June and by the time they
arrested me I had completed six of the nine interviews I was supposed
to conduct (Barcelona, Gerona, Valencia and Murcia).  I was due at 10
a.m. on Friday to interview the dealer in Almería.  That left two
outstanding interviews in Madrid. I was booked on a flight from Madrid
back to London on Sunday, 6th July.

Do you admit to the crimes that you have been charged with in Peru?

I do not admit to a single one of them because I was not in Peru.  I
have not committed any criminal act.  Mr Fujimori made false
accusations for which I am now being judged.  But this is in
contradiction with the following fact: the Peruvian Embassy in London
learned about my points of view in the early 90s and put out a
document addressed to the Peruvian community stating that "Mr Olaechea
is not a member of SL, he has nothing to do with Peru and there is no
evidence or proof of any type against him".  This was demonstrated by
the fact that I had no problems when I entered and left Peru without
any problems.

Were you aware that there was an international order for your

Not officially. Fujimori has said many things but the English press
has always defended me. The English authorities never informed me that
there was an order against me.

Why did you accept to go back to Peru via the ‘fast extradition
procedure'?  Would the regular procedure not have been better for you?

Initially I accepted this because my conscience is clear and because I
knew that this is a malicious accusation by Mr Fujimori.  In England,
the press see this as the "Fujimori fatwa".  My first reaction was:
"I'll go back to Peru to clear this up".  However, the reactions from
some Peruvian politicians and those of the ambassador, Mr Fernando
Olivera made me realise that I cannot expect a fair trial in Peru.
Dr. Domingo Garcia Belaunde and other friends told my family that it
may take up to two years before I will be retried.  I then decided to
demand the maximum guarantees from the government.  The best thing for
the Peruvian government would be to retract the order for capture
because they will be unable to uphold it.  This process was initiated
by a dictatorship for concrete acts ( acts of terrorism) which would
have been impossible for me to commit as I was outside the country.
The reactions of politicians and some of the press made me realise
that in Peru they want to stab me with my hands tied and, in view of
this situation, I am entitled to change my opinion. I believe that
Peru is wasting the opportunity to demonstrate that it has indeed
changed and that judicial fairness does exist. If the government
really wants to disarm Fujimori, who claims that there are no
guarantees in Peru and that he is being persecuted for political aims,
they should act as an example to Fujimori instead of providing him
with ammunition to reinforce his argument. That's what's so ironic.

You said before the Spanish judge that you are asking for a ‘fair
trial' in Peru. Are you asking for a new trial in Peru? Do you think
that that is possible?

These trials have been annulled and that of which I was accused is
anti constitutional. The prosecutor who accused me, Julia Eguia, is in
prison for her relations with Vladimiro Montesinos.

Yolanda Vaccaro - Correspondent

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