Former Peruvian agent backs Fujimori's ex-wife on torture allegations
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A former intelligence agent said that she saw disgraced
former President Alberto Fujimori's then-wife naked and cowering in a
basement cell at army intelligence headquarters in 1995.
The account came after Susana Higuchi, Fujimori's former wife, alleged
intelligence agents tortured her more than 500 times during her former husband's
Higuchi, who separated from Fujimori in the mid-1990s after publicly criticizing
government, said the torture occurred at army intelligence headquarters between
1992 and 2000.
Television images showed Higuchi displaying scars on her temples and the
her nec k, where she said agents of former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos applied
electric shocks to her.
Leonor La Rosa, an ex-agent who returned to Peru last week from four years
exile, said she saw Higuchi locked in a cell at army intelligence headquarters.
"She was totally nude. She wasn't saying anything. She was hiding her face
crying," said La Rosa, who had been sent to bring Higuchi food.
"All I did was take off my jacket and give it to her so she could cover
then I left," La Rosa said in comments broadcast Saturday on local television.
La Rosa, who is partially paralyzed, returned February 17 from exile in
after saying she was tortured for leaking alleged government plans to attack
Higuchi, now a congresswoman, divorced Fujimori in 1996. Two years before,
Fujimori stripped her of the title of first lady after she accused him of tolerating
widespread corruption in his administration.
Higuchi has alleged in the past that she was tortured by Montesinos' agents
orders from Fujimori, but she never showed scars or had witnesses corroborate
Higuchi visited Montesinos in July at the prison where he is being held
on dozens of
charges ranging from narcotics trafficking to directing a paramilitary death squad.
Higuchi said the spymaster asked her forgiveness for what he had done to
also said Montesinos told her Fujimori ordered that she be killed.
Fujimori was driven from office in November 2000 by a corruption scandal
involving Montesinos, who was arrested eight months later.
Fujimori denies any wrongdoing. He is in self-exile in his parents' native
where he is safe from extradition on charges of embezzlement and sanctioning the
paramilitary death squad.
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.