Peru's Media Displays of Prisoners : This is How We Do It

By now, I'd bet as many people have seen the arrest, perp walk and transfer of Joran Van der Sloot from police headquarters in Lima, Peru to the Big House at Miguel Castro Castro Prison as 15 years ago watched the perp walk of Timothy McVeigh as he was led out from the Noble County Courthouse in Oklahoma in his orange bullet-proof vest.

Amid throngs of media and crowds of angry bystanders, millions watched as Joran, wearing a bullet-proof vest with his head partially covered by a blanket, was manhandled by police as they whisked him into a waiting van (that appeared to be an ambulance.) The police allowed media cameras to continue filming as they followed the van to Castro Castro Prison. They even allowed the media to enter the prison so they could film Joran being perp-walked to his cell.

Within days, police released security camera videos from the scene of the crime and the casino where Joran and Stephany Flores played poker, video and photos of the inspection of his property upon arrest and the transcript of his post-arrest "confession." More recently, they revealed the crime-scene photos to a U.S. publication (which, in a desire to make sure everyone knew they had the exclusive, so prominently branded its name into the photos, the photos are practically worthless and not even worth linking to.)

The point: While it may appear the death of Stephany Flores is the crime of the century in Peru, and the reason for the wall-to-wall, symbiotic police-media video coverage, it turns out it isn't. This is just how they do things in Peru. [More...]

In the past year, the same scene has played out for at least two other young men accused of murder and transferred to Castro Castro, where they still await a trial. The video montages are so similar to those of Joran, it's hard to believe that the whole process isn't just a part of the police playbook, scripted well in advance, and suitable for any murder that happens to come down the pike.

The accused men are Pedro Cesar Mamanchura, charged with the murder (a year ago today) of a popular folk singer, Alicia Delgado, for whom he was employed as a bodyguard, and Ronny Ramos (called "Bolon"), accused of killing a pretty 24 year old Peruvian woman.

Watch below: the same screaming crowds, the manhandling into the van, the blanket on the head.

Another version is here. Other videos show his arrival at Castro Castro prison. In Pedro's case, there's a confession made at the infamous Drincri police headquarters that he now says was coerced and obtained without his lawyer. He has since retracted it.

On his confession:

After eight months in complete silence, Pedro Cesar Mamanchura, confessed murderer of Alicia Delgado, spoke to the cameras 'Stop' and stated that he is no murderer. .... "This statement (in which he confesses to Alicia guilty of murder) the police did, I signed because I was coerced. [They] threatened to kill me, me and my family, "said Mamanchura, who is being held in the Castro Castro prison.

"They beat me, they kept me hungry all day awake, my lawyer did not let come near me. ...I am not a murderer, "he continued.

There are other similarities to Joran. Pedro was caught very close to the Ecuador border where police said he was trying to flee. He initially proclaimed his innocence. And years before, he was arrested for the murder of another young girl, but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

More about Pedro: He required surgery on his cheek after his arrest. The police claimed it was a pre-existing injury. (Reminiscent of police claims a few weeks ago that Joran threw his head against the wall of an elevator in an effort to kill himself.)

In Pedro's confession, made after a long drive with police back to Lima and being put in the holding cell at Drincri police headquarters, he confessed and implicated another popular female singer, Abenecia Meza, who was having an affair with Alicia Delgado (Apparently, so was Pedro -- and so was a harpist named Miguel Salas, whose semen was found inside Alicia but for some reason, isn't a suspect.) Police then arrested Abencia and kept her in prison for six months. (Apparently, Alicia filmed a video shortly before she died with Pedro and Miguel in which she said if anything happened to her, it would be Abencia who did it. The video, in possession of the police, was of course leaked to the media.)

The police found the murder weapon, a knife, and his fingerprints aren't on it. Photos of the knife were released or leaked to the media.

A few months ago, someone wrote a letter in Pedro's name retracting his allegation about Abencia. After a court hearing, the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence without the confession to hold her, and let her out on a summons. Pedro's lawyer is asking for handwriting tests, saying Pedro did not write the letter. Pedro is asking to be transferred from Castro Castro due to death threats.

After the details got out of the supposed letter Pedro wrote exonerating Abencia, he was thrown in the hole at Castro Castro and brutally beaten (allegedly by guards.) Pedro has since clammed up and refused to say who beat him.

Commissioned psych reports call Pedro, a former soldier, a "psychopath" who is unable to control his impulses. They said Abencia has sado-masochistic tendencies. Pedro's mother defends him.

Alicia's sister has also been named as a potential suspect. She, too, allegedly had a romantic relationship with Abencia. She reportedly found the knife believed to be the murder weapon at the scene of the crime and wiped it off. A step-daughter has also been named as a suspect.

As to the second case of Ronny Ramos (called "Bolon"), also within the past year, the details will have to wait for another post, but here's the videos of the media circus at his arrest and en route to Castro Castro.

Another version is here, with Ronny's parents very upset they weren't allowed to see him. And, here he is proclaiming his innocence and having a white blanket shoved on his head. At least they offered him water before his perp walk and trip to Dirincri.

< Federal Judge Upholds Visual Cavity Searches of al Qaida Defendant | Joran Van der Sloot: Fact vs. Fiction and False Reports >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Anita Van der Sloot interview per (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:35:37 PM EST
    AP/Huff Post:  link

    Setting up (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    Any kind of insanity plea that he can get.

    But the telling quote:

    "But if he killed Stephany, he'll have to pay the price. I won't visit him in his cell, I cannot embrace him," she was quoted saying.

    she's helping him get a new lawyer (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 10:49:47 AM EST
    and that's what he needs most at this point.

    She's a mother (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:52:48 PM EST
    And saying what she is because she wants to help her son.  I wouldn't expect any less from any mother.

    Or, she's a mother who is thinking--what (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 01:32:11 PM EST
    did I spawn?  Must be mentally ill.  No child of mine!

    out of context (none / 0) (#14)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 04:25:17 PM EST
    misquoted, translated incorrectly - various reasons for her remarks other than the sinister spin given them.

    Maybe she's been advised by an atty to.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by thadjock on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 10:55:39 AM EST
    put that out there, but it's an odd 180 from an interveiw she had given before where she was emphatically stating her son was not a murderer and she is convinced he is being set up.  She even related the substance of a call she made to his ex gf to comiserate, the gf who referred to Joran as a "personal prince charming" so caring and romantic and always put other people first.

    I'm not a lawyer, but given the charges, I don't see how having your mother publically declare you psychologically damaged is helpful.


    A plus site (none / 0) (#2)
    by pac on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:48:35 PM EST
    This is a good informative site.

    Whether or not Joran was set up, snapped or whatever, the information provided encourages thought process beyond what is typically reported.

    I agree (none / 0) (#3)
    by AlohaMade on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 01:31:03 AM EST
    This shows us that he obviously has been in trouble for sometime, or his mother could be trying to help by telling this story, so now they might put him in an institution, rather than prison, I would be interested to know if he was expected to check into a hospital in the Netherlands?

    Ummm... (none / 0) (#4)
    by goldberry on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 07:19:49 AM EST
    the guy killed someone.  He manhandled her to the point of death.  And this is Peru, after all.  They don't have the death penalty in Peru, do they?  Because that really would be barbaric.  

    No death penalty in Peru (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 07:32:22 AM EST
    and spare us your sarcasm please.

    I can't imagine (none / 0) (#12)
    by Nemi on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 04:15:26 PM EST
    ever being in need of a defense attorney. Even then I find it reassuring and truly admirable, that there are people willing to take it upon themselves to defend even those most of us find undefendable.

    I certainly wouldn't want to live in a society without.


    No death penalty (none / 0) (#15)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 08:59:29 PM EST
    officially.  However, they are allowed to kill each other in prison.  Although video cameras are everywhere in Peru, they are absent where one might think they should be, within the prison system.

    Joran should really send Tony Hayward a (none / 0) (#11)
    by thadjock on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 03:58:00 PM EST
    box of chocolates, if it weren't for Tony, Joran would be the global media front page villain du jour.  As it is, he's more like page 6 fodder.  I think that helps keep the media frenzy off Peru to a certain extent too. A murder in South America can't really hold a candle to BP's misadventures or even world cup coverage for that matter.

    Media focus (none / 0) (#13)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 22, 2010 at 04:20:25 PM EST
    needs to stay on Peru to insure Joran's human rights are intact.