Jaime Castillo Petruzzi

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Jaime Francisco Sebastián Castillo Petruzzi, known as Torito (Little Bull), is a former Chilean militant of the left-wing organization Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria and an terrorist who worked with the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement during the internal conflict in Peru.

Along with a few others, he conformed a group of Chilean internationalist fighters who entered the ranks of the peruvian terrorist group. Petruzzi was condemned by the Peruvian State for kidnapping prominent businessmen during this period, who were kept in cárceles del pueblo (people's jails) and usually exchanged for money to buy modern weaponry and equipment.

He was captured and convicted for terrorism because of his involvement in a failed kidnapping operation. He allegedly lost his cool and fired his gun in the heat of the fight that broke out during the kidnapping operation of Pedro Miyasato Miyasato, killing businessperson David Ballón Vera and one of his brothers in arms.[1]

Petruzzi was detained in 1993 and summarily sentenced to life in prison (the trial lasted 3 hours) by a special military court of masked judges for "high-treason" (in Spanish, "Traición a la patria", although he never had Peruvian citizenship). He was imprisoned in the high-security Yanamayo prison in Puno, Peru.[2] In 1999 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the trial against Chilean citizens Jaime Francisco Sebastián Castillo Petruzzi, María Concepción Pincheira Sáez, Lautaro Enrique Mellado Saavedra and Alejandro Luis Astorga Valdez was invalid for incompatibility with the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (the Court acknowledged the violation of 9 articles of the said Convention by the Peruvian State) and ordered that the defendants were guaranteed a new trial with full observance of due legal process. The Court also ordered the Peruvian State to pay to their families a total sum of US $10,000.00 (ten thousand dollars USA) or its equivalent in Peruvian national currency.[3]

In April 2001, Castillo and five other Chileans imprisoned in Yanamayo began a hunger strike asking to be repatriated to Chile. The following month they were transferred to Lima, and the new Peruvian government (Valentin Paniagua) decided to rejoin the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and accepted its verdict in the case of Castillo Petruzzi. In June the life sentence was overturned and a new trial began. In September 2003, Jaime Castillo was sentenced to 23 years in prison and civil damages of 250,000 Soles (Peruvian currency). Two other Chilean benefited of the new ruling and were released, one on probation.

However, on October 14, 2009 Jaime Castillo and ten other prisoners were taken in the early morning hours to the special closed-regime prison of Ancon I (Piedras Gordas), on the outskirts of Lima. This was a hard change for Castillo Petruzzi, from the ordinary regime in Miguel Castro Castro prison, in Lima, where he studied and worked (he did work of artistic craftsmanship, studied communication sciences and taught French and Italian). The same day, the government of Alan García enacted a new law eliminating prison benefits.

After a year in Ancon I, Castillo was sent back to Castro Castro. The 29th of April 2011 he was attacked along with other political prisoners in Hall 5 by dozens of common criminals, in order to evict them and take control of the pavilion.[citation needed] The medical report says Castillo suffered from multiple bruises, 55 cuts to the head, a ruptured meniscus in his right knee and sharps injuries in the body. Following the incident, he was transferred back to prison Ancon I. After five months is surgery on his right knee and reconstructed ligaments, he was operated while remaining handcuffed to the bed and in the presence of police officers in the operating room, as is a common practice with criminals.[citation needed] He was discharged within 24 hours and sent back to the closed-regime prison of Ancon I. Exercise therapy and recovery indicated by doctors was only fulfilled by 25%, because of authorities' refusal of hospital.[citation needed]

In Ancon I prison he suffered severe restrictions: he remained locked from 9 pm to 7 am, no TV or radio. The light went off at 10 pm and their right to court was reduced to four hours. He had no right to communicate, although after 19 years in prison and being classified in ordinary medium-security regime, should have access to a public telephone.
Jaime Castillo could have been freed in February 2010 if his right to prison benefits had been recognized according to the current legal framework in Peru (after three quarters of the time served, the sentence is reduced because of work and study). Jaime Castillo is bound to be released in full compliance of the sentence on 14 October 2016. His girl partner, Maite Palacios, and his father, as well as numerous friends of Castillo in Chile and Peru, are taking steps to obtain that various Peruvian authorities agree to abide in this case to the bilateral treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons, without success so far.[4]

Biography[1][edit]

Castillo became a militant of the MIR in the 1960s. After the victory of Salvador Allende, he was employed by the Government, sent to Cuba to train, and eventually became a guard of the Palacio de La Moneda. In 1973, immediately after Augusto Pinochet's coup d'état he fled to Paris to study. In the University of Paris he met fellow students, future MRTA leader Víctor Polay Campos and ex-president of Perú, Alan García. From Paris, he traveled to El Salvador and fought in the civil war there for two years. After this, he went to Nicaragua to aid the government in fighting Contra rebels supported and armed by the CIA (USA). Around 1987, the military failure and numerous inside political differences that plagued the MRTA led Polay to contact Petruzzi and urge him to go to Peru and join his organization.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ¿Quienes son los chilenos del MRTA (Spanish) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "caretas" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ El juicio criticado en el que Perù mandó a prisión a cuatro chilenos (Spanish)
  3. ^ [1] Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Caso Castillo Petruzzi y otros Vs. Perú, Sentencia de 30 de mayo de 1999 (Spanish)
  4. ^ Revista Punto Final N°781 (May 2013): Chileno preso en Perú desde hace 20 años (Spanish)