14ymedio, Havana, 24 January 2024 — “High-level” sources cited by the Peru21 media point to the fact that Cuban counterintelligence agents are protecting Peruvian politician Vladimir Cerrón Rojas, who has been a fugitive from justice since October 2023, when he was sentenced to three years in prison for corruption. The Foreign Minister of Peru, Javier González-Olaechea, explained to the local press on Tuesday that, if the help of “external agents” is confirmed, the country could break relations with Cuba.
If it is verified that a foreign government has intervened, a cooling-off period is advisable, and at most, there is the possibility of a breakdown in diplomatic relations,” González-Olaechea told Peru21.
Cerrón lived in Cuba for more than 10 years, where he graduated as a doctor in 1997. Since then, he has maintained close relations with the Island’s regime.
According to the media, in recent weeks the police confirmed that two Cuban citizens approached two members of the Perú Libre party
According to the media, in recent weeks the police confirmed that two Cuban citizens approached two members of the Perú Libre party, of which the politician is a member – in addition to the imprisoned former president Pedro Castillo – and a third person of Acción Popular to “coordinate plans concerning Cerrón.” “Traitor” agents of the Peruvian Police are also involved, the authorities say.
“Why would Cuba, through its ambassador Carlos Gallo Zamora, risk its relationship with Peru to protect a politician like Cerrón? This newspaper obtained information that the Cubans (…) would have already told him that if the situation gets complicated, they would distance themselves from the operation,” Peru21 alleges.
Despite his status as a fugitive, Cerrón has responded to the accusations of the authorities through social networks using a VPN that prevents his exact location from being known.
After he was associated with Cuba, Cerrón replied to the accusations on his X account: “According to exGEIN [Special Intelligence Group], Cuban Intelligence is better than the Peruvian. Listen to yourself,” the politician said ironically.
Cerrón, the leader of Perú Libre, served as governor of the Junín region from 2011 to 2014 and then resumed office in 2019 until he was accused of corruption and money laundering in his previous term. Although that first case was dismissed, the politician was again summoned before a judge. After a trial in October, for irregularities in the construction of an airfield in Junín, where there was already another airport, Cerrón was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fled.
Since then he has remained active on social networks, mocking police actions aimed at finding him, asking for the release of Pedro Castillo and disapproving of the management of the current president, Dina Boluarte.
According to the police, Cerrón was about to be arrested this January, when his VPN failed and he was located in an Asia Beach condominium [in Peru], in the district of the same name. The place coincided with the one that had been accidentally revealed by the Cuban agents and discovered by the police. On that occasion, despite the fact that the information was true, Cerrón was not arrested and remains a fugitive.
A month earlier, in December, Peruvian intelligence received information that the politician was trying to reach the Bolivian embassy in Lima to apply for asylum
A month earlier, in December, Peruvian intelligence received information that the politician was trying to reach the Bolivian embassy in Lima to request political asylum from the Government of Luis Arce, an ally of Havana. The leader of Perú Libre denied on social networks that he planned to leave the country. However, the Peruvian police deployed an operation to prevent the arrival of the politician at any of Bolivia’s diplomatic facilities in the country.
“Why insist on what the rich want? Who would it suit for me to leave the country? We are going to fight here in our homeland. Perú Libre will return with the force born of the people,” Cerrón said in his X account.
Cerrón’s lawyers have so far presented two applications for habeas corpus, but he has not presented himself before the judge in recent months or made his whereabouts known.
The presence of Cuban agents has been reported on multiple occasions in several South American countries, generally coinciding with riots to provoke political changes, as happened in Chile in 2019 and in Colombia in 2021.
Last December, the Government of Javier Milei in Argentina confirmed the presence of Cuban and Venezuelan “agitators” who have the mission of sowing chaos in that country. The Argentine Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, then identified these groups in a statement to national television as a “noisy minority” that would receive the full weight of the law.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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