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.
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.
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