Daniel Urresti: investigations for Bustios case resurface amid rumors of 2016 elections

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Former Interior Minister Daniel Urresti has been ordered to serve 25 years of prison by the legal prosecutor for the 1988 Hugo Bustíos murder case, according to El Comercio

Urresti was signed into the Nationalist Party yesterday and has not affirmed plans to run for the 2016 elections, though his actions lead many to believe those are his intentions However, El Comercio reports that under Article 33 of the the Nationalist Party Statute, he does not qualify to run, as candidates in the party must not have pending criminal trial or have been convicted of a felony.

The now Nationalist Party member, Urresti, was forced to resign as Interior Minister after pressure from the opposition. Under fire for his poor management as Interior Minister and other cabinet mishaps under President Ollanta Humala, the minister stepped down. Not long after, President Humala replaced four other members of his cabinet in a sweeping move to save face.

The Third National Superior Criminal Prosecutor responsible for the murder case of Bustíos asks that the former Interior Minister serve 25 years in prison for the murder and as well pay a fine of S/. 500,000 in civil damages. The court is accusing Urresti for the murder of the journalist, Hugo Bustíos, which occurred on Nov. 24, 1988.

At that time, Urresti had joined the Countersubversive Castropampa Battalion Staff of Huanta. Bustíos was ambushed by the Peruvian army and murdered by explosive devices they attached to him. Meanwhile, Urresti was working as Chief of the intelligence sector at the Castropampa office. The Base Chief Victor La Vera Hernandez who was involved in the murder was sentenced to 17 years of prison in 2008.

Urresti pleads innocence in the murder case.

“I’m not considering resignation, I have a right to a presumption of innocence, and I know […] that I am innocent. In more than 20 years, no one has named me, not even as a witness, and now a criminal who is serving time [former Lieutenant Colonel Amador Vidal Sambento]is telling the prosecutor that he’s innocent and I’m the guilty one. It’s based on that, and no more evidence, that they’ve opened a case against me, he told RPP Noticias last July.

The former Interior Minister is under criminal investigation for the murder of Hugo Bustíos in 1988 and thus cannot run for office.

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Hillary moved to Peru in August of 2014 to learn Spanish, live with her family, and pursue writing. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Ca, Hillary earned her B.A. in Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley. Since moving to Peru she drinks fermented potato and coca concoctions daily and is enjoying learning about the abundant and natural andean foods of the country. Hillary hopes one day to become an investigative journalist. You can follow her blog.