‘Los Cabitos’: Peru convicts military brass for 1983 mass killings

LIMA – Peruvian military staff were convicted Friday in the 1983 mass killings of 53 people, who they wrongly claimed were part of the Shining Path rebel group.

Judge Ricardo Brousset’s joint rulings included 30 years’ house arrest for former lieutenant colonel Humberto Orbegozo and 23 years for Pedro Paz Avendano, for the crimes in the Andean city of Huamanga.

The judge also issued an arrest warrant for the men, who did not appear for their sentencing.

Meanwhile, Administrator Colonel Roberto Saldana was acquitted. Colonels Carlos Briceno and Carlos Millones had their charges dropped due to health problems.

The Friday’s hearing detailed kidnappings, torture and executions of the 53 people at the Domingo Ayarza barracks, known by the nickname “Los Cabitos” in 1983. It had an oven where bodies were incinerated.

At the time, the military was fighting the Maoist-inspired Shining Path and the smaller MRTA. A truth commission report said the 1980-2000 civil conflict left 69,000 people dead.