A 44-year-old construction worker found guilty of immigration fraud in Alexandria is wanted in Peru in connection with at least 26 killings as an alleged member of a paramilitary death squad in the early 1990s, U.S. and Peruvian officials said yesterday.
The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria obtained an arrest warrant last week to extradite the man, Wilmer Yarleque Ordinola, to Peru, which is seeking his extradition on charges of aggravated homicide, aggravated kidnapping and forced disappearance. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals office in Alexandria.
Ordinola is charged in the killings of college students, a radio personality and an 8-year-old boy as a member of the Colina Group, established by Vladimiro Montesinos, Peru's former national intelligence director. Montesinos, who is now imprisoned, served under former president Alberto Fujimori, who fled to Japan in 2000 after being charged with corruption and human rights abuses.
"This is a very serious case because he is allegedly a member of one of the death squads," said Rodolfo Pereira, press counselor for Peru's embassy in Washington. "The government of Peru hopes the extradition is granted."
Agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Ordinola last Nov. 26 in Lorton at a construction site where he was working, authorities said. He pleaded guilty to using a falsified U.S. residence document to obtain work; he was sentenced on Jan. 21 to time served and turned over to ICE for deportation proceedings.
"Mr. Ordinola is alleged to have participated in unspeakable acts of violence on Peruvian citizens for which he should be held accountable," said Allan Doody, special agent in charge of the ICE Washington field office.
Michael Lieberman, Ordinola's attorney in the immigration fraud case, did not return phone calls seeking comment yesterday.
A federal court affidavit filed by the U.S. attorney's office last week outlined Ordinola's alleged crimes in the Colina group.
One of the mass slayings took place before dawn on July 18, 1992, when the group rounded up about 50 people at Enrique Guzman y Valle National University of Education, called La Cantuta for the neighborhood where it is located. Donning ski masks and carrying lime and shovels, they separated nine students and a professor, drove them out of Lima in a truck, shot, killed and buried them.
Fujimori has denied charges that he approved of death squad killings during his tenure as president, and Peru has been unsuccessful in its attempts to extradite him from Japan.
A government-appointed commission reported last year that 69,000 people died or disappeared in Peru between 1980 and 2000. The report detailed activities of the Colina group.
Ordinola's alleged crimes also include an incident involving a radio reporter on June 24, 1992, according to the court document filed in Alexandria. On that day, Colina members went to the home of Pedro Yauri Bustamante, director of a radio news and phone-in program, "Punto Final," that was critical of the Fujimori government.
The agents seized Bustamante and took him to a beach. He was interrogated but refused to answer questions, saying he was going to be killed in any case, the affidavit said. He was shot in the head and buried on the beach.
In another case, the affidavit said, Ordinola and about nine other agents went to a fundraising event on Nov. 3, 1991, in the Barrios Altos section of Lima looking for government opposition members. Dressed in sports clothes and toting machine guns with silencers, they forced people to lie on the ground, opened fire and killed 15 of them, including an 8-year-old boy, the affidavit said.