WikiLeaks drug corruption report hits Peru general

The March 2009 document from then-Ambassador Michael McKinley noted that a source whose name was omitted in the released document "saw signs that officers may have continued to cooperate with drug traffickers." It was released Sunday by WikiLeaks.

The document cited a 2007 meeting between Gen Paul da Silva and a regional fishing industry leader, Rolando Eugenio Velasco Heysen, and said the source suggested they were coordinating drug shipments.

Velasco was arrested in October 2007 on charges of drying to export 840 kilograms of cocaine hidden in frozen fish and remains imprisoned facing trial.

Da Silva, then chief of the Piura military region, was named head of Peru's army this month.
Da Silva held a news conference at army headquarters yesterday to deny the suggestion, saying that while he did meet with Velasco, they talked about the fishing industry executive's offer to supply the military with seafood.

Da Silva called the document "infamous" and said he reserves the right to bring a criminal complaint against the US ambassador "for his irresponsibility," though the document did not say if the allegation was true. McKinley is now US ambassador to Colombia.

Comments (+)