The first of perhaps dozens of scandals to involve members of the Peruvian establishment (more than 1000 of the leaked cables originate from or concern Peru) has hit.
According to ex- US ambassador McKinley, the shadow narco-military group set up by ex-President Fujimori’s spymaster Montesinos is suspected to still be in operation.
In the cable dated 2007, signed by then ambassador Michael McKinley, informed Washington of suspicions that army general Da Silva, then the commander of Peru’s northern region, has connections with corrupt fisheries minister Velasco Heysen who smuggled cocaine out of Peru by ordered of Montesinos.
General Da Silva, now promoted to head of the armed forces, is said to have met with Velasco and then-head Edwin Donayre.
According to El País, the Spanish daily who reported on the story this morning, the US Govt considers the dismantling of the narco-military-network after the downfall of Fujimori to not have been entirely successful and that it could easily re-emerge.
It is suspected by the US that some elements in the military are receiving huge payments to help smuggle cocaine out of coca growing regions even today.
The government of Alan Garcia says it stands by their appointed commander, stating that there is no evidence of narco-connections. The government considers the connects of the secret cables to be “gossip”. Chancellor Belaunde classified all Wikileaks’ releases as gossip and went on to say that McKinley, in the multiple opportunities that they spoke, never brought up the subject.
Da Silva himself has threatened to take legal action against the ex-ambassador.