A taxi service became the most horrifying episode in the life of the evangelical pastor Juan Mallea Tomailla. On July 10, 1993, he was hired by the journalist John Jara in Berros to transfer it to Comas. Mallea did not know that Jara had a copy of the sketch where the clandestine graves of the victims of the La Cantuta crime were located.
Upon reaching their destination, troops from the Special Intelligence Group (Gein) Mallea and Jara were arrested as suspected terrorists. Mallea was accused of being the author of the sketch, as part of a plan by Sendero Luminoso to attribute the massacre of the professor and the 9 students of La Cantuta to the government of Alberto Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos. At the time of the events, the regime officially denied its participation in the multiple homicide.
A few days after the arrest, on July 23, 1993, the National Directorate against Terrorism (Dincote) presented Juan Mallea and to other persons as members of the agitation and propaganda apparatus of Luminous Path. Mallea was a proven evangelical pastor, the accusation made no sense.
Two days before Mallea’s exhibition in a striped suit as was the style at the time, the evangelical pastor had been tortured at the headquarters of the Dincote, on Spain Avenue. All the time he claimed that they were wrong about him, but at that moment the Fujimori regime invalidated the presumption of innocence.
Sí magazine, which was precisely the publication that revealed the graves of the victims of the cantuta, narrated that episode: “It was on July 21 at two in the morning. The beatings began. First a slap, then they threw me against the wall and then they kicked me down. As I was going towards the ground, I was stopped by a knee that broke my rib, as a doctor later verified. I saw who did it, I gave the names of the police officers: Major Tello and Captain Bonilla, but they did not write them down.
accusation to blows
He was referring to today’s general PNP (r) Claudio Tello Benites and the current PNP colonel Guillermo Bonilla Arevalo. The latter has recently been appointed by the Government of Pedro Castillo as Director of Intelligence of the General Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of the Interior (Digimin).
Consulted by La República, 30 years later, Juan Mallea Tomailla confirmed his testimony. This newspaper presented him with the photograph of both police officers and affirmed that they were the same ones who tortured him.
“I always declared that my torturers were Major Tello and Captain Bonilla. That’s how they were identified in ’93. (The one in the photo) is the same Bonilla from GEIN. He and Tello were the ones who took me out of the cell at 2 am They argued with the guard, who didn’t want to open the cells. That was when they said their names and ranks, while I was hooded,” recalled evangelical pastor Juan Mallea.
“Yes, Colonel William Bonilla He was the one who tortured me,” Mallea said.
The excuse of the torturers was that the graphotechnical expertise, ordered by Dincote herself, concluded that Mallea’s lines coincided with those of the sketch that identified the place where the clandestine graves were located.
“The police officers presented me with a folder that, they told me, were the graphological results that they took on the 16th (July). They told me it was positive. They told me: ‘Here is the irrefutable, scientific proof. No one will doubt what you have done. You better tell the truth.’ When I replied: ‘Excuse me, sir, but I don’t know what you are talking about, the beatings began,’ Mallea told Sí magazine at the time of the events.
The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) indicates that, during the judicial process that was opened against Juan Mallea, the expert witness julius neyra confirmed that there were “formal dissimilarities and obvious differences” between the spellings of the tortured and the map of the graves.
A second expert report applied by Linda Shaneyfelt in Washington, USA, found that analysis of the map revealed “impressive differences” with Mallea’s handwriting. In other words, what was discovered by independent professionals cast doubt on whether the taxi driver was the author of the sketch and pointed to the hypothesis of fabrication of evidence by the Dincote.
Nine months later, Mallea was released, since, in addition to what was exposed in the expert reports, it was not proven that he had participated in Shining Path activities, much less that he was part of the conspiracy of which he was accused.
Actually, the government of Alberto Fujimori y Vladimir Montesinos, desperate for the discovery of Sí magazine —on July 12, 1993, it published the location of the graves in Cieneguilla—, accused the journalists of publishing false information fabricated by the terrorists of Luminous Path. But the scientific investigations verified that in the place there were remains of the disappeared of The Cantuta.
Colonel Guillermo Bonilla confirmed to this newspaper that the citizen Juan Mallea Tomailla was in his charge when he was arrested in 1993. However, he denied torturing him. “I remember it from many years ago, but such events did not occur,” he told La República.
In addition, he argued: “Surely he maintains his version. But she is not the only one complaint, it’s not the first time. We have worked at Dincote and there have always been those testimonies, those complaints. It’s something that has always happened.”
Lawyer Ernesto de la Jara, A specialist in the defense of human rights, stated that Guillermo Bonilla Arévalo’s argument is very common among the troops who repressed with violence during the times of the internal armed conflict.
“At that time, I used to go to the Dincote a lot and all the detainees were tortured and all the women were raped. They thought it was normal. Everything you can find is true and worse,” she commented.
De la Jara saw firsthand the injustice committed against the evangelical pastor Juan Mallea Tomailla and recalled that it became a paradigmatic case due to the strategy of implanting false information by law enforcement.
Offering his testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Juan Mallea recounted how the injustice he experienced had emotional repercussions.
“I managed to get out of prison and no one ever approached me to say that this had been a mistake. Only, I was given freedom, just like that. I was emotionally damaged, the separation from my wife, my parents, my son. And the one that I left in gestation, I was not able to see it born, ”said Mallea.
As recounted in the documentary In the mouth of the devil, the recycler Just Arizapana was a witness when agents from the Colina detachment buried the remains of the victims of The Cantuta. He reported the incident to his friend. Gustavo Catacora, the one who recommended notifying his journalist friend Juan Jara so that he would make the complaint public.
At the same time, Arizapana and Catacora sought out Congressman Roger Cáceres and gave him a sketch of the location of the graves. This issue came into the hands of the journalist Edmundo Cruz Vílchez, from the magazine Sí.
Arizapana and Catacora also gave a copy to Juan Jara, which is the one he was carrying when he was arrested along with Juan Mallea Tomailla.
luminous path It had nothing to do with the elaboration of the drawing because the witness of the excavation of the tombs was Justo Arizapana.
Nevertheless, the Fujimori and Montesinos regime invented that the terrorists had drawn up the sketch, with the express purpose of distracting the ongoing investigations and cover up the real criminals who were in power.
An appointment in the midst of a crisis in the Digimin
On September 7, the General Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of the Interior (Digimin) decided to appoint Colonel PNP Director of Intelligence Guillermo Bonilla Arevalo.
Bonilla was a member of the Special Intelligence Group (GEIN), who managed to capture the terrorist leader Abimael Guzman and the leadership of the criminal organization.
The appointment of Guillermo Bonilla took place in the context of a series of relays in the Digimin, arranged by the Minister of the Interior, Willy Huerta Olivas.
Guillermo Bonilla was appointed to replace Colonel PNP (r) Juan Asmat Bucalo, who resigned from the post two weeks after being appointed.
The opposition in Congress seeks to censor Minister Willy Huerta precisely for trying to remove Colonel PNP Harvey Colchado from the special team. Huerta tried to relieve colonel as head of the Digimin Search Division Padded.