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December 21, 2006
Court closes proceedings on journalist's disappearance, allegedly at the hands of Navy officers
El Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS)

December 21st, 2006 (IPYS/IFEX) - On 12 December 2006, Lima's Second Supraprovincial Criminal Court decided to close the case of journalist Jaime Ayala Sulca, a correspondent for the newspaper "La República", who disappeared in 1984 in the city of Huanta, Ayacucho, in central Peru. Officers of Peru's Navy (Marina de Guerra) who had been deployed to the region in order to fight terrorists had been accused of being behind his disappearance.

Karim Ninaquispe, the lawyer who represents the journalist's family, confirmed that Judge Omar Pimentel had closed the proceedings against the following officers: Adrían Huamán Centeno, Augusto Gabilondo García del Barco and Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano, all of whom were accused of being the masterminds behind the journalist's disappearance.

After an investigation that lasted over three years, Ayacucho's human rights prosecutor (Fiscalía de Derechos Humanos) formalised the legal charges against the officers in September 2006.

In February 2001, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had recommended to the Peruvian State that it conduct the investigations that could be appropriate in view of its obligation to exercise its legal authority in an autonomous manner, and that it determine the officers' individual responsibilities in the case.

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