Peru Election 2006

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Humala denounces plot to assassinate secretary general of UPP

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Maxwell A. Cameron
January 20, 2006

Dante Yorges: “Don’t do it in the party locale or other place because people are around him like flies.”
Hit man: “You suggest the door of his house.”
Yorges: “In his house, at the door.”
Hit man: “How? With lead?”
Yorges: “Lead in the head would be best. One shot of lead, and done.”

Source: El Comercio, January 20, 2006
Is this a scene from a B-rated gangster film? No, it is part of the process of selecting candidates to run for congress.
Ollanta Humala has denounced a plot to kill secretary general of the Unión Por el Perú (UPP), José Vega Antonio. The plot was allegedly hatched by another UPP leader, Dante Yorges, the secretary of mobilization of the same party. The television program “Cuarto Poder” aired a video in which Yorges and a hit man (who remains unidentified, but was apparently the source of the video) discussed how to eliminate Vega.

The fight between Vega and Yorges originated in a dispute over the list of candidates to the congress for UPP. Humala is the leader of the Partido Nacionalista Peruano (PNP), but since this was not constituted as a party in time for the elections, he was adopted by the UPP (which was a party without a leader).
Vega, as secretary general of the UPP, is positioning himself to be one of the top candidates from Lima, and Yorges, who claims to have served in UPP for 11 years, is not on the list. Yorges claims he was set up by Vega, and says the hit man approached him first in the company of German Barrera (alias, The Patriot), who wanted to speak with Humala to help him collect the money he deserves for his role in helping bring down Vladimiro Montesinos by passing a Vladivideo (videotape from the archive of corruption of the former de facto head of the National Intelligence Service) to the opposition. Later, the hit man volunteered to kill Vega.
In one version of the story, Yorges would have been acting as an agent of Humala. The motive would presumably be to cover up evidence that Vega would have, in his role as secretary general, implicating Humala in scandals concerning the congressional list. In recent days there have been allegations that bribes being paid for spots on the list and even links with drug trafficking. No such allegation has been proven.
Humala immediately denounced Yorges to the police, and accused his adversaries of a conspiracy to block his ascent power. Not only has he been accused of anti-Semitism, and is routinely denounced as a fascist in some local newspapers, most recently he has been accused of active involvement in the uprising in Andahuaylas led by his brother. Two censures placed on his candidacy are still under appeal.
But what has captured most of the headlines in the last couple of days has been the open brawl over candidates to congress for UPP. The dispute began on Tuesday, January 17, when rank-and-file groups seized the locale of the PNP and denounced that a “dedocracia” had been installed within the party. Roughly 200 activists from 18 provincial bases occupied the locale to protest the imposition of candidates by the leadership.
Many of the candidates being imposed “a dedo” did not win internal elections and many are unknown to the rank-and-file. In some cases candidates have been selected because they would bring notoriety to the party, as in the case of Juvenal Silva, president of the Cienciano soccer club, or Zenaida Uribe, former voley ball star. The list of precandidates was posted on the UPP website, with final decision to be made by Humala before finalization of the list. In other cases, candidates were selected who have not participated in or who lost internal elections. Some of the questioned candidates do not live in the provinces they would presumably represent in congress. One was an entrepreneur who has lent Humala a truck his campaign; another a friend of Torres Caro from his Catholic University days.
Some activists denounced the practice of accepting payments for a position on the list (the so called “cupos”), though they offered no evidence to support this. Much of the criticism was directed at Carlos Torres Caro, vice presidential candidate and a key operative within the party. But it was Humala the protesters wanted to see. Humala kept a low profile, however, sending Daniel Abugattás, who is in charge of reviewing the curricula of the precandidates. According to Abugattás, much of the discontent arises from the fact that candidates were selected at different times in the interior of the country, and in some cases there were parallel processes resulting in too many candidates coming forward.
The next day Humala maintained a low-key attitude, saying that he would do his best to ensure the list was more representative, that no cupos were being charged, and denouncing infiltration into the party by people from other groups, or who claim to be leaders and are not. He also hotly rejected the idea that he has any criminal responsibility in the case of his brother, saying “If they have proof against me, throw me in jail.” Humala also indicated he would remove Torres Caro from his slate should there be any evidence of wrong-doing on his part. Torres Caro has been criticized for alleged links to Montesinos. This he has denied.

Written by Michael Ha

January 20th, 2006 at 8:52 am

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