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Friday, November 17

A great article at Salon.com about Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos and his flight from Panama. Montesinos did not know what he was going getting into when he accepted an asylum offer in Panama. He ran into the arms of his worst enemy, Gustavo Gurriti, a Peruvian journalist who has devoted most of the past decade to fighting President Alberto Fujimori and Montesinos as the incarnation of evil.

I can remember sitting in Gustavo's garden in 1990 and listening to him tell other foreign journalists about a shady former army officer who had finagled his way into Fujimori's inner circle. He was convinced from the start that Montesinos presence would soil the entire government. Gustavo began a crusade in the Caretas weekly magazine that culminated when Gustavo was forced out of the country by Montesinos's goons after the Fujimori auto-golpe in 1992.

Eight later, Gustavo in effect drove Montesinos out of town (Panama), and back to Peru, with his intense campaign to let Panamanian know what they were getting. He is an editor with La Prensa. I can see Gustavo gloating now, but he won't be satisfied until Montesinos is in prison.

The author of the Salon.com article added an interesting perspective by using Montesinos's homelessness as an example of human rights abusers in a new international legal environment (remember what happened to Pinochet when he left Chile for a health visit to London). Mark's article is better by several orders of magnitude than the one I reviewed.yesterday.

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