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Crime | July 26, 2011 [ 15:54 ]

932 books stolen from the National Library of Peru

The National Library of Peru (Photo:El Comercio/Archive )
In February this year, the National Library of Peru reported that it had been the victim of systematic theft.

Five months later, after an exhaustive inventory forced the closure of its doors, its director, Ramón Mujica Pinilla, presented the total number of books missing: 932. The missing books are mostly very valuable antiques.

News of the theft was published in an article by El Pais, which reports that some of these books date back to the 16th and 17th century.

Such is the case of a manuscript titled Una Vida, written in 1679 and stollen by one of the workers during the inventory process. Mujica said the theft was caught on video. Also missing is a book by Erasmus of Rotterdan, published in Paris in 1524.

Mujica reported that 181 books had been lost from the old trust and private libraries, 125 books from the general collection, 414 manuscripts from the valuable library bequeathed by the historian Raul Porras Barrenechea and 32 books considered bibliographic jewels.

Among the missing items were three books that had recently been returned by the Chilean government and had been looted during the occupation of Lima in the Pacific War (1879-1883). According to Mujica, these books were never made available to the public because they had not even been cataloged.

Silvana Salazar, technical director of the National Library, said in a press conference that most of the stolen books were about the conflict between Peru and Chile.

After five months the inventory determined that the National Library of Peru has an endowment of 150,894 books and about 320,000 documents of historical value. "The library must be declared in emergency," Mujica claims, noting that he had requested help from the private sector during the inventory, since the government had made no contribution.

Although the new library was oppened last year security of its collection remaines weak.

In order to take inventory Telefonica del Peru, a private company, provided the library with security cameras in order to monitor the vaults, rooms and corridors through which the books were moved.

These cameras filmed the theft of one of the manuscripts. Now that the inventory was completed “we have to give them back again and the collections will be unprotected," says Mujica.

The National Library finally reopened its doors this week, but Muica calls for more government aid. Due to an emergency decree that imposes measures of austerity during the final part of the government, the library has run out of resources to invest in security measures.

"The state needs to invest in defending its heritage, we still have a lot of inventory," said Mujica. An extensive collection of maps, music scores, another group of old books and some seven million volumes have not yet been registered

Although it may seem unusual, the National Library of Peru does not have a bibliographic management software system, which complicates the task of recording items.

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Crime | July 15, 2011 [ 9:00 ]

"Butcher of the Andes" returned to Peru by Interpol

Archival photos of Telmo Hurtado, nicknamed the "Butcher of the Andes" for his role in the massacre of up to 74 civilians, including children, in 1985.

Eight years after fleeing to the United States to escape conviction for crimes against humanity, Ex-Lieutenant Telmo Hurtado was returned to Peru last night.

As reported in Peru’s El Comercio, Hurtado was accompanied by Interpol agents on a flight from Miami to Lima, which landed last night at 9 pm.

Hurtado has been convicted of taking part in the Accomarca massacre, which took place in 1985 in southern Peru, at a time when the military was fighting the Shining Path guerrilla movement. Anywhere from 47 to 74 unarmed men, women, and children were reportedly murdered on orders from the Peruvian army.

A military tribunal convicted then-Lieutenant Hurtado of abusing his authority and perjury with regards to what happened. Hurtado was later granted amnesty by the government.

However, when the amnesty was repealed in 2002, he fled to Miami. Survivors of the massacre, nonetheless, brought a civil case against him, and a court ruled in their favor, ordering Hurtado to pay $37 million.

According to attorney Karim Ninaquispe, who represents the victims’ next of kin, Hurtado will be brought Friday to the National Penal Quarters. It will then be decided to where in Peru he will be imprisoned.

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Crime | July 13, 2011 [ 11:24 ]

Confession in murder of Polish tourists in Peru jungle

Roger Mauricio Ruíz confessed to murdering Polish couple traveling in Peru.

The principal suspect in the murder of Polish couple in Peru has confessed to murder.

As reported in Frequencia Latina TV news, Roger Mauricio Ruíz confessed to police that he was the one who shot Jaroslaw Franckiewicz, 70, and his wife, 58, Celima Mroz, while they were kayaking the Ucayali river in the jungles of northern Peru last May.

Robbery was the motive, stated Ruíz, who admited to shooting the couple with a shotgun after his nephew, Freddy Ruíz García, shot at them first. A recording of the confession was broadcast on the television news program, "90 segundos." Furthermore, Mauricio Ruíz stated that there were a total of five who took part in the double homicide.

But it was his nephew who planned the murder, Ruíz said. Ruíz García is currently under arrest along with his brother-in-law, Fidel García Campos, in the city of Atalaya.

García Campos claimed a few days ago that the bodies of the victims were dismembered before being thrown into the river.

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Crime | July 12, 2011 [ 12:04 ]

Survey reveals Lima's safest neighborhoods

Gen. Javier Sanguinetti of the national police (Photo: Carlos Lezama/Andina )
Lima's safest district is Lurin, and its most dangerous is Villa El Salvador, at least according to the residents themselves.

A survey just released by the civic group Ciudad Nuestra asked residents if they had been the victim of a crime in the past year. 21% of Limeños responded that they had, with that number rising to 27.5% in Villa El Salvador. Meanwhile, just 9.6% of Lurin's residents report having been victimized in the past year.

24.9% of La Molina's surveyed residents reported having been victims of crimes this year, as did 17.3% of their counterparts in San Isidro, 16.9% of the residents of Barranco and 14.6% of those in Miraflores.

Among the safest neighborhoods are Chaclacayo (11.3%), Miraflores, Pachacamac (15.3%) and Magdalena del Mar (16.3%). San Juan de Lurigancho (25.6%), San Juan de Miraflores (25.3%) and San Luis (24.9%) were among the most dangerous neighborhoods.

According to respondents, pocket-picking and bag-snatching are by-far the most common crimes in Lima, followed by burglary.

The survey also showed that residents of San Isidro, Miraflores, San Borja, La Molina and Magdalena del Mar feel more secure than their counterparts elsewhere in the city. Residents of Villa El Salvador, La Victoria, San Martin de Porres, San Juan de Miraflores and San Juan de Lurigancho reported the most fear about crime.

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Crime | July 11, 2011 [ 9:32 ]

Suspects in murder of Polish couple turned over in Amazon region

Prime suspects turned in after murder of Polish couple (Photo:

The suspects in the murder of a Polish couple who were kayaking in northern Peru have been turned in to the police.

Jaroslaw Frackiewicz, 70, and his wife, Celina Mroz, 58, who were kayaking in the Ucayali River, went reported missing after the 26th of May, the date of the last blog entry. At the time they posted that they currently were in Atalaya, deep in Peru’s Amazon jungle.

According to the English-language Polish media outlet,, members of the Ashaninka tribe took it upon themselves to track down and turn over the suspects in the disappearance and probable murder of the couple.

The prime suspect turned over by the Ashaninka to the police was Fidel Garcia, 27, who in turn implicated his brother-in-law, Freddy Ruiz, and his uncle, Roger Ruiz, as participants in the killing.

According to Orlando Del Aguila police chief of the Ucayali province, Garcia stated that Frackiewicz and Mroz were shot by Ruiz in a confrontation. Del Aguila, however, believes that robbery was a more likely motive; he noted that the victim’s belongings had been divided up between the three suspects.

The Ashininka have released a statement asking forgiveness from the victim’s familes and from Poland.

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Crime | July 7, 2011 [ 11:33 ]

Peruvian singer Eva Ayllon hopeful for father's recovery after shooting

Eva Ayllón (Photo: El Comercio)
The famous Peruvian singer Eva Ayllón expressed optimism that her father would recover from wounds suffered during a shooting Monday night, and thanked her fans for their support.

Carlos Ayllón Cueto, 79, is currently on an artificial respirator in the intensive care unit of the “Dos de Mayo” Hospital in Lima.

“Last night my father gave us a ray of hope,” Allyón wrote on her Facebook page. “I very much believe in God and the universe, who will take care of the rest, but to you,” said Allyon, referring to her fans, “I don’t know how to thank you for your concern, for sharing our anguish and giving us so much courage and faith in this moment”.

Also wounded in the attack by hired gunmen were Cueto’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Cuadros, 54, as well as Jorge Eugenio Bazán Aguilar, 37, and Walter Añanca Sulca. It is unclear whether the victims were shot intentionally or accidentally by assailants whose ultimate target is Peruvian mob boss, “Gordo” Tobi.

Previously, in a case of mistaken identity, gunman shot and wounded Tobi’s twin brother, Bazán Aguilar, who recently returned to Peru from Spain.

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Crime | June 29, 2011 [ 15:17 ]

Study finds Peru one of the most homophobic countries in Latin America

Peru is considered one of the most homophobic countries in Latin America. (Photo: La Républica)

According to a study by the Peruvian NGO Promsex, 43 percent of people believe that the most discriminated against group in the country is lesbians, while another 50 percent believe that gays are the most discriminated against in their right to raise a family.

The report, presented Tuesday at the Cultural Center of Spain, also revealed that Peru is considered one of the most homophobic countries in Latin America.

This distinction is based on the country's failure to meet international human rights standards, La Républica reports.

The document also provides an analysis of the efforts of various sectors of society to protect the right to gender identity and sexual orientation, from institutions to its own government.

George Liendo, Promsex member, urged the next government to resume at least two important legislative initiatives for this group.

One of them was presented by congressman Carlos Bruce and deals with the punishment of hate crimes.

"The project was not discussed by the outgoing Congress, despite having received a favorable opinion by the majority of parliamentarians," he said. Another law expected to be debated is that of civil unions for same sex couples.

The bill defines hate crime as the case in which a person commits a crime motivated by hatred or contempt of race, gender, age, mental or physical disability, economic status, religion, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation or sexual identity of the victim.

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Crime | June 22, 2011 [ 12:49 ]

Hackers announce operation to target Peruvian and Chilean governments

Screenshot taken of the video the group of internet hackers known as "Anonymous" uploaded Wednesday.

A group of internet hackers known as "Anonymous" announced Wednesday it will begin an operation called "Free Andes" against the governments of Peru and Chile. The operation threatens to launch cyber attacks against official websites for "openly violating freedom of expression and privacy of internet users" they say.

"The governments of Chile and Peru continue to violate the rights of their people, this time monitoring conversations on blogs, Twitter and Facebook," claims the group in a video posted on YouTube.

"Seeing as these governments openly violate freedom of expression and privacy of internet users, we decided to launch a joint venture called 'Free Andes' to support the Chilean and Peruvian citizens in the fight for their rights," the group said.

The Chilean government is paying a company $30,000 to monitor "what people are saying" on social media sites. But it's not clear why the group is targeting Peru, which doesn't have standard content control or monitoring, reports El Comercio.

"In Peru there is no standard content control or monitoring of networks. We are the country in the region with the least rules in regard to network monitoring," Erick Iriarte, a lawyer specializing in technology issues told El Comercio.

Last year, the government presented a draft law "regulating the use of computers for communication in the workplace." However, it was rejected by experts and has not found approval.

A few days ago president-elect Ollanta Humala recognized the importance of social networks for citizen participation and said they will be strengthened.

"It is likely that this recent statement was seen as a threat," said Iriarte.

"Anonymous" has taken credit for attacking the websites of the Church of Scientology, the governments of Australia, Egypt, Iran and Zimbabwe, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, and MasterCard, PayPal and other financial companies that cut ties with WikiLeaks after the publication of leaked U.S. military and diplomatic documents, according to MSNBC.

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Crime | June 17, 2011 [ 6:45 ]

Van der Sloot reportedly gets girlfriend pregnant behind bars

Joran van der Sloot in Peru in 2010. (Photo: Andina)

Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man accused in the murder of a Peruvian woman and the main suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, has gotten his girlfriend pregnant while behind bars, the Daily Mail reports.

The U.K. paper reports that van der Sloot's girlfriend was frequently seeing him for conjugal visits, going to his jail cell to do "chores" and bringing him candy.

His girlfriend reportedly works at the same Peruvian casino where he met Stephany Flores, the woman he is accused of murdering in June 2010.

Ricardo Flores, Stephany's father, has asked officials at the Miguel Castro Castro Jail to investigate the conjugal visits.

Van der Sloot is accused of first-degree murder in Flores' death and could get up to 35 years in prison. He confessed to the murder last year, saying he strangled Flores and asphyxiated her with his shirt. He claims Flores attacked him first.

He is also the main suspect behind Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in 2005. The 18-year-old Alabama teen went missing during a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island.

Van der Sloot was the last person to have seen Holloway alive. Her body has yet to be found.

Read Van der sloot cooperates with judges

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Crime | June 15, 2011 [ 10:43 ]

Van der Sloot cooperates with judges

Joran van der Sloot. (Photo: Andina)

Nearly 13 months after the crime, and for the first time since the investigation launched, Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, charged with the murder of the young Stephany Flores Ramirez, agreed to cooperate with the judges and addressed them in Spanish Tuesday in the Miguel Castro Castro prison in San Juan de Lurigancho.

This was revealed by Edward Alvarez, a lawyer for the Flores family, reports El Comercio.

"First he viewed a video of the Municipality of Miraflores on the day of crime that did not provide any new data, then [Ricardo Flores] had to identify one of the wallets to see if it was Stephany's, and finally he was to listen to the driver that helped Van der Sloot flee by land to Chile, but this did not materialize because the driver did not arrive on time," Alvarez said.

Despite this setback, the lawyer said that the proceedings were completed in the investigation of the case, so the process will pass to the Third Criminal Court for inmates in prison.

"Today we will present the request to the prosecution [to stand trial for robbery followed by death] because we consider life imprisonment a just penalty. We hope that from here on out the case will move quickly," Alvarez said.

Although he looked calmer than during his first appearance last week, Ricardo Flores, father of Stephanie, could not avoid a break in his voice as he remembered the wallet that belonged to his daughter that was recovered by police after the capture of van der Sloot in Chile.

"I have to consult my wife, but I'm 95 percent sure that was Stephany's," he said upon leaving the prison.

Flores added that this time the Dutchman could only see his back. He insisted that the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) eliminate the supposed benefits that van der Sloot has in the prison, such as running a business selling snacks and receiving unauthorized visits by his supposed girlfriend, who is thought to be a casino worker in Atlantic City, where he met Stephanie. The INPE had no response to the concerns.

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