Larry Utia Perez was arrested Sunday and presented in Lima Monday. (Photo: Perú.21)
Police captured Shining Path terrorist Larry Utia Perez, aka 'Larry' or 'Cat', who is one of the top lieutenants of comrade 'Artemis', Sunday in Juanjuí.
According to the portal Inforegión, Utia, who already has been transferred to Lima, lead a Shining Path movement in Huallaga, along with Cresilio Veramendi Meza, known as comrade 'Tiger' or 'Cuban.'
Carlos Moran of the national police said that Utia had been previously indicted for drug trafficking.
"The presence of Sendero (Shining Path) has been reduced to small towns, primarily in the area of Aucayacu and on the border with San Martin, through the action of the Dirandro (national police drug task force), Dircote (national police counter-terrorism force) and Huallaga Police Front," said Rubén Vargas, an analyst on terrorism and narcotics, in a television interview with Channel N.
According to his estimates, the number of "combatants" of this terrorist group in Huallaga is now no more than 40 men.
Even though a Peruvian judge postponed a preliminary hearing for Joran van der Sloot Wednesday, it still was a dramatic day in court for the father of the young woman van der Sloot is accused of killing, reports CNN.
Ricardo Flores said Wednesday was the first time he saw the alleged killer of his daughter face to face.
"It was a very tough moment," he told CNN shortly after leaving a courtroom inside Lima's Castro Castro prison, noting that it seemed van der Sloot was enjoying many privileges. "I thought I'd see someone skinny...but no, he was fatter than when he first went to prison."
The judge rescheduled the closed-door hearing – which involves some evidence in the case – for next Tuesday, because van der Sloot did not have legal representation in the courtroom Wednesday, Flores said.
His daughter, Stephany Flores, was found dead in a Lima hotel room registered to van der Sloot in May 2010. Police say van der Sloot took money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested a few days later.
Earlier this month, van der Sloot's defense attorney, Maximo Altez, resigned, citing unspecified differences in strategy.
If van der Sloot does not have an attorney next week, the judge said he would appoint one, Flores said.
The 23-year-old van der Sloot was once the prime suspect in the disappearance in Aruba of American Natalee Holloway, who vanished at age 18 while on a graduation trip. He was arrested twice but never charged in connection with her disappearance.
Shortly after his 2010 arrest, a federal grand jury in Alabama indicted him on charges that he tried to extort $250,000 from the Holloway family. Van der Sloot offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway's remains in exchange for the money, according to the indictment.
Peruvian authorities have yet to file formal charges against van der Sloot. Once the discovery phase of the case ends, prosecutors will file charges and a trial date will be set.
It could be weeks before the Peruvian trial begins.
Ricardo Flores said the family hoped van der Sloot would be charged with robbery and homicide, which would carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Before his resignation from the case, Altez told In Session his client attacked Flores after she found something on his computer that tied him to Holloway. He gave In Session a copy of a motion he filed asking that van der Sloot face a lesser charge for a crime of passion.
"My client...admits having murdered the victim, but not with ferocity, for profit or pleasure, nor any of the other element(s) that make up this murder, but only by violent emotion that overtook him at the time he was attacked by the victim," the motion read.
However, Ricardo Flores and Edward Alvarez, an attorney representing the Flores family, argued that a police investigation indicated the last time anyone had searched for information about Holloway on van der Sloot's computer was the day before Flores' death -- suggesting the attorney's explanation that van der Sloot attacked Flores after she read an e-mail on his computer was a lie.
"That hypothesis has already been defeated," Ricardo Flores said Wednesday.
Despite the latest delay in the case, he said he was confident that justice would prevail, and that he would be able to face van der Sloot in court again.
"I am confident that God will give me the strength," he said.
The fallen soldiers are honored at a ceremony in Callao. (Photo: Oscar Durand/Andina)
Around noon Monday the bodies of five soldiers killed by narcoterrorists in a June 4 ambush arrived to the military airbase in Callao
The soldiers died in a terrorist attack on their way to guard election material in the town of Choquetira in the province Cusco.
Minister of Defense James Thorne calls them heroes of democracy, according to El Comercio.
The deceased include Huilber Angeles Casio, Rusber Albán Torres, Zózimo Cuyo Huamán, Casimiro Arias Uretra and Charles Tananta Yumbato.
After the ceremony the soldiers were transported to their cities of origin in Jauja, Iquitos, Tarapoto, Cusco and Chancay. Thorne said, "This represents a deep pain for the military. This is not a war, it's an assassination."
Joint Commander for the Armed Forces Luis Howell signaled that the death of the soldiers would not go unpunished and said they are looking for those responsible among the narcoterrorists.
The emotional ceremony was also attended by the President of the Council of Ministries Rosario Fernández, Minister of the Interior Miguel Hidalgo and relatives of the soldiers.
The lawyer representing Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot against murder allegations in Peru has quit, citing differences over defense strategy, UPI reports.
Van der Sloot, the one-time prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba where he once lived, is accused of robbery and killing in the death of 21-year-old Stephany Flores. Peruvian authorities haven't filed official charges yet.
His attorney, Maximo Altez, filed papers to withdraw from the case Tuesday, CNN reported.
"I cannot defend this case in the way he wants me to," Altez said.
Flores' body was found in a Lima hotel room registered to van der Sloot in May 2010. Police say he stole money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested.
Van der Sloot, 23, is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing June 8. Once the case's discovery phase is complete, prosecutors will file charges and a trial date will be set.
Altez said he would still represent van der Sloot in a related habeas corpus case claiming human rights violations during his arrest. The matter would be dismissed if Altez withdrew from that case, CNN said.
Van der Sloot was once the main suspect in the disappearance of Holloway, who vanished while on a graduation trip to Aruba. While arrested twice, he never was charged in her disappearance. A federal jury sitting in Alabama indicted him on charges of trying to extort $250,000 from the Holloway family for offering to provide information about the location of the teen's remains. The information turned out to be fake.
Ciro Castillo Rojo and Rosario Ponce López. (Photo: El Comercio)
Jesús Fernández Alarcón, president of the Board of Senior Prosecutors in the Judicial District of Arequipa, said that a preliminary investigation will determine whether the disappearance of Ciro Castillo Rojo was a crime, reports El Comercio.
He said that in this case, direct evidence and testimony, as well as material evidence will be used for judicial inquiry.
"For example, if we find Ciro's blood on Rosario's clothes, or vice versa would have to find an explanation for it. We don't necessarily need the body to reach a conclusion," he told reporters.
In complex cases such as this when the person is not found, research is important because it may show what happened, how the victim disappeared, if he was abandoned and has died, and under what circumstances, he noted.
"There are several hypotheses that we are investigating in this situation," he said.
He said that this case involves Rosario López Ponce because she is the last person who was with Castillo and the one who went on the journey with him, "therefore, she is a person who has important information. Her testimony will help us continue in the investigation. "
The circumstances of the disappearance of a person, such as in the case of Castillo, has a legal effect, which means that after a while the process to declare the person gone is initiated.
"After a while, about two years as the law states, the victim is presumed dead for civilian purposes such as heritage, inheritance and others. Parallel investigation continues in front of the public prosecutor to determine whether this disappearance is a crime," he said.
A member of the bomb disposal unit in Cusco Monday. (Photo: Percy Hurtado/Andina)
The national police of Peru and security personnel at Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport in Cusco this afternoon evacuated all passengers and airport employees due to a bomb threat.
The head of the regional Cusco police Italo Perochena reported that two bombs were deactivated without causing personal injury or material damage.
The artifacts were taken by members of the bomb disposal unit (UDEX) of Cusco and moved to an open area located in the back of the airport to disable the devices. At this time, the activities in the airport terminal have returned to normal.
Peruvian chef Arturo Peña Giraldo was killed in Puerto Rico, where he lived with his family. (Photo: El Comercio/Primera Hora)
Last Tuesday Peruvian chef Arturo Peña Giraldo, 44, was killed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He owned the restaurant "Puerto del Callao" and was known as the "King of Ceviche," reports El Comercio.
As reported by the Puerto Rican website "Spokesman," Peña was murdered by a stranger at 11:03 p.m. in the Puerto Nuevo neighborhood of San Juan where he lived.
Peña's family traveled to Puerto Rico's capital Friday to coordinate the procedures for retrieving the body.
"He was wearing his chef's uniform with the logo of the restaurant when a stranger suspected of stalking him shot him twice, at his left underarm and his right side," said the "Spokesman" on its website.
Peña left Peru more than 20 years ago for New York, where he worked in several restaurants. While there he married a Puerto Rican woman. The couple has three daughters, and the family moved to Puerto Rico about 10 years ago.
From right, William Tricket Smith II, Mónica Cecilia Muñoz Pereda and Justo José Servigón Solano are accused of the murder of Jana Claudia Gomez Menendez.(Photo: Andina)
William Trickett Smith II of the United States pled guilty to the murder of his Peruvian wife, Jana Claudia Gomez Menendez, and asked for early termination of his criminal proceedings, Andina reports.
Tricket is charged with murdering his wife and placing her body in a suitcase, which washed up on the Lima shore in 2007. She was identified by the tattoo of a butterfly on her neck.
Smith's attorney certified Trickett pled guilty, but said he did not agree to the penalty of 35 years in prison that the Attorney General has requested.
The other two defendants Mónica Cecilia Muñoz Perez, considered primary accomplice of the crime by the prosecution, has been asked to serve a 15 year sentence, and Justo José Servigón Solano, accused of cover-up, has been asked to serve a four year sentence. Both have pled not guilty and will continue the regular trial.
The court has also requested S/. 60,000 for the family of the victim, to come from the three accused.