Peru military charges four officers with torturing agent
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ A military tribunal Tuesday charged four army officers with abuse of authority for allegedly torturing an intelligence agent who they believed leaked secrets to the news media.
Among those charged by the Supreme Council of Military Justice, the armed forces’ highest court, was the head of the army intelligence service, Col. Carlos Sanchez Noriega.
The four were accused of physically abusing fellow agent Leonor La Rosa.
La Rosa, 36, claimed she was tortured and interrogated twice in February about three secret operations that included plans to threaten a well-known Peruvian journalist and a human rights lawyer.
Speaking to Lima’s channel 2 television station from her hospital bed on Sunday, La Rosa denied that she revealed any secrets, and showed burn marks on her fingers that she said came from electric shocks. She had difficulty walking, moving her hands, and said she suffered three respiratory failures as a result of the torture.
Gen. Guido Guevara, head of the military tribunal, said La Rosa faces charges of disloyalty and disobedience for allegedly revealing classified information to the news media.
``But that is no justification for intelligence agents using torture to make her talk,″ Guevara said.
La Rosa’s allegations of torture have caused indignation in Peru, and even congressional representatives from the ruling majority, who usually do not criticize the military, have demanded an investigation.
Various congressmen visited La Rosa on Tuesday, and opposition legislator Henry Pease said her condition was delicate.
``She is recovering but she still has not managed to walk normally,″ he said.