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Two army officers sentenced for 1988 murder of journalist Hugo Bustíos

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 2 October 2007, the National Criminal Bench, presided over by Judge Clotilde Cavero Nalvarte, sentenced Víctor La Vera Hernández, commander and military chief of Huanta, Ayacucho, and Captain Amador Vidal Sanbento to 17 and 15 years in prison, respectively, for the murder of journalist and correspondent for "Caretas magazine", Hugo Bustíos, which took place on 24 November 1988 in that area of Peru's highlands.

The journalist's murder took place after he accused the Army of committing abuses against the population and reported on the discovery of several mass graves in Huanta.

The investigations in to his killing only started to bear fruit in 2003, when the national government agreed to comply with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' ruling that ordered Peru to investigate the crime.

After a five month long evaluation of the evidence, the Bench concluded that La Vera was the mastermind behind the crime and that he had ordered Vidal to commit the murder. Both of the convicted men have rejected their sentences and have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

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