Peruvian politician arrested over 1988 journalist's murder
While Bustios was riding a motorbike, he was ambushed and shot at with machine guns by a group of plain-clothes soldiers
April 14, 2023 8:44am
Updated: April 14, 2023 8:44am
Peruvian retired army general and politician Daniel Urresti was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for his role in the murder of a journalist in 1988, according to a judge.
Urresti, who was previously an interior minister, congressman, and presidential candidate, was part of an ambush in which journalist Hugo Bustios was murdered during the country’s civil conflict.
Bustios was a reporter for the magazine Caretas in the Andean region of Ayacucho during the conflict, which left more than 70,000 people dead or disappeared. He reported on human rights abuses committed by the armed forces, as well as the Shining Path rebels.
While Bustios was riding a motorbike, he was ambushed and shot at with machine guns by a group of plain-clothes soldiers. The shooting caused him to lose control of the motorcycle and crash. While a fellow journalist traveling with him managed to escape, Bustios was gravely wounded. Soldiers then proceed to detonate explosives on his body, instantly killing him.
Two military officers, who were convicted of ordering Bustios' death in 2007, accused Urresti of taking part in the ambush.
Urresti, 66, was cleared of his involvement in the journalist’s murder in 2018, when he was running to be the candidate of Lima—an election he narrowly lost. However, Peru’s supreme court overturned the rules and ordered a new trial.
"Thirty-four years have passed since my father was murdered, but finally justice has been done - we finally got the justice that had so far been denied to us," said Sharmeli Bustios, the eldest daughter of the journalist, in a Tweet.
“It is an important step towards justice and the defense of press freedom in Peru,” said Peru’s National Association of Journalists.