It was in October 2000 that Peru's "spy chief", School of the Americas graduate Vladimiro Montesinos, responded to the mounting allegations against him by dissappearing without a trace.

One of Montesinos' "personal" videos was stolen and sold for approximately $100,000. This video was a recording of a bribe made by Montesinos, of a political opponent; that opponent would later switch parties accordingly. This evidence of corruption would later be supplemented by evidence that he had "taken kickbacks from illegal drugs and arms deals, directed death squads and ordered the torture of opponents", and even stolen money from the state directly. Montesinos was gone before he could be arraigned.

A search of Montesinos' home resulted in the discovery of, unbelievably, about 2,500 similar films. They found no trace of Montesinos, but they did discover a "false bathtub", which led to a tunnel, allowing for a quick and easy escape from the mansion. Also on hand, at his bedside, was a satellite telephone. But things got really creepy when investigators discovered that they were being watched themselves; the speakers of Montesinos' stereo had cameras in them.

It became clear that Montesinos was long gone. The international community came together to try to slow his escape: his American visa was invalidated, $48 million in a Swiss account were frozen, and every nation in South America promised to deny him asylum. The $5 million reward the Peruvian government had out on him couldn't have made his escape any easier, either.

Progress was slow but sure. Montesinos' private yacht was found abandoned in the Galapagos Islands. When a Venezuelan plastic surgeon was investigated on the suspicion that he had reworked Montesinos' face, a bag of clothing scented with Montesinos' favorite cologne was discovered on the premises.

After eight months, it began to look as though Montesinos was gone for good. He had made so many dirty deals with so many individuals and so many nations that many feared he would never be heard from again, that he would either escape forever or be killed by some interest that feared he'd betray its secret. His contacts included CIA agents, U.S. ambassadors, left-wing Venezuelan generals, Colombian guerrillas, Russian mafia bosses, and even Cuban defense minister Raul Castro, not to mention his former affiliation with The School of the Americas, and his "network of bank accounts and hideaways from Buenos Aires to Morocco". Trained in America, Montesinos had funded rebels in Venezuela, he had made deals with politicians all over the Peruvian political landscape, he had even sent arms illegally to Jordan, and who knows where else. Afterall, keeping secrets was his job.

Pedro Carreno, a member of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's party, perhaps on the take himself, alleged that Montesinos had been "snatched from Venezuela by Peruvian intelligence agents and killed at a Peruvian military base", to make the search even more dubious.

In June 2001, in Miami, eight months after Montesinos had dissappeared, the FBI arrested a former Venezuelan intelligence officer on charges of extortion. It wasn't long before he cut a deal. The FBI contacted Peruvian authorities with "irrefutable" information regarding the location of Montesinos. Before a move could be made, Montesinos was turned in to Venezuelan authorities; apparently, two of his bodyguards had received word of the Miami arrest, and wanted to collect on the reward, now that it had become clear that Montesinos was going down.

Though he had long had a room reserved for him in a Peruvian maximum security prison, Montesinos was transfered after a couple of days there to an anti-terrorist prison in Lima's port of Callao; he himself had aided in the design of his new, anti-terrorist home, while still in power.

Upon receiving word of the impending transfer, Montesinos is said to have immediately offered up information regarding the now-defunct Fujimori government. In exchange for this information, Montesinos requested only the opportunity to remain in the maximum security facility, rather than being relocated indefinitely to the prison of his own design. His offer was rejected.

http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/americas/11/30/peru.montesinos/index.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A41042-2001Jun24
http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/americas/06/28/montesinos.prison/index.html

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