Peru: “The Business Ecoystem of Fujimori’s Caras Pintadas”

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Col. Rejas Tataje (blue shirt). Source:
La República.

“Caras pintadas” fueron movilizados a megajuicio por empresa de Kenji: Who are the caras pintadas demonstrating outside the trial of Alberto Fujimori?

Brazilians remember a similar movement clamoring for the impeachment of President Collor in the early 1990s. La República claims it has evidence the “painted faces” are an (Edelman-style) astroturf movement — apparently spontaneous but actually a form of stealth marketing.

La irrupción de un bullicioso y agresivo grupo de manifestantes fujimoristas, con la novedad de su camuflaje facial color naranja el día del inicio del megajuicio a Alberto Fujimori, nos deparó una sorpresa. Entre sus activos promotores descubrimos nada menos que al coronel de infantería Pedro Rejas Tataje, uno de los comandos Chavín de Huántar, aquel que en una de las más conocidas fotos de ese operativo aparece emergiendo por las escaleras de la residencia japonesa con el pulgar en alto.

The eruption of a noisy and aggressive group of pro-Fujimori protesters, with the novel element of faces painted orange, on the day the trial began, caused us some surprise. Among the active promoters of the group we found none other than infantry colonel Pedro Rejas Tataje, one of the commandos from the Chavín de Huántar hostage rescue operation, who in one of the most famous photographs from that operation is seen emerging from the Japanese consulate giving the thumbs-up sign.

En las fotos del último lunes alrededor del Fundo Barbadillo, el mismo militar es visto untando pintura naranja en los rostros de sus correligionarios, y él mismo camuflándose al estilo de los comandos (ver fotos al lado).

In photos taken last Monday near the Fundo Barbadillo, the same military office is seen painting the faces of his supporters orange, and camouflaging himself as well, commando-style.

Este nuevo uniforme de operador político con que esta vez vimos reaparecer al coronel Pedro Rejas Tataje tuvo para la redacción de La República el sabor a un hallazgo.

This new uniform of a political operative that we now see the Colonel wearing had the feel of a genuine find to the editors of this daily.

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The iconic “thumbs up” victory photo

Estábamos empecinados en seguir el rastro a la empresa de seguridad y vigilancia privada denominada Mak Force SAC, que presentaba como su gerente general al joven ingeniero Kenji Fujimori Higuchi. Pero no encontrábamos mayores detalles.

We had been trying hard to track a private security firm called Mak Force SAC, which claims the young engineer Keji Fujimori Higuchi as its general manager. But we could find out nothing further about it.

Una página web de referencia (A cambiode.com) contiene una definición muy sucinta y desactualizada de Mak Force. En el domicilio de la avenida Benavides 4183, segundo piso, Surco, ya no funciona esta empresa, conforme lo comprobamos en una visita al lugar.

A business reference Web site (acambiode.com) contains a very brief and outdated description of Mak Force. The company does not actually operate out of the address it gives, at 4183 Benavides Ave., Second Floor, as we verified by visting that location. 

The listing there is dated May 2007.

Una segunda dirección en calle López de Ayala 1514, Urbanización San Borja Sur, fue reemplazada por una tercera más distante en la calle Esteban Tuerten 993, en San Juan de Miraflores.

A second address at 1514 López de Ayala, in the San Borja Sur development, gave way to a third, farther out, in San Juan de Miraflores.

No hay atención personal. Únicamente se da el nombre de un “contacto” llamado “Toño Díaz”, con quien sólo pudimos hablar por teléfono. “La información es reservada, no podemos darla por teléfono, pero tenemos un staff de especialistas que pueden visitar su empresa para asesorarla de la mejor manera”, explicó el tal “Toño”.

There is no one there to wait on the public. All there is is the name of a “contact” name “Toño Díaz,” with whom we were only able to speak by telephone. “That information is confidential, we cannot give it over the phone, but we have a staff of specialists who can visit your firm to advise you in the best manner,” explained this “Toño.”

I gather that the reporters were doing this report on an “undercover” basis, not identifying themselves as such.

Informó que Mak Force inició sus actividades el año pasado y que trabajaban para empresas de prestigio. Pero no señaló cuáles. Agregó que trabajaban con un consorcio llamado “Mi Club Solutions”, especializado en sensores magnéticos y sistemas electrónicos de seguridad.

He said that Mak Force went into business last year and works for prestigious firms. But he did not say which. He added that they worked with a consortium called Mi Club Solutions which specializes in magnetic sensors and electronic security systems.

La ficha de Registros Públicos de Mak Force es muy escueta. Revela algunos nombres. Algunos de ellos de militares en retiro. El más conocido es Pedro Gerardo Rejas Tataje, de la promoción 1985, en la que ocupó el primer lugar.

The corporate registry of this company gives scant information. It provides few names. Some of them retired soldiers. The best-known is Pedro Gerardo Rejas Tataje, Class of 1985, when he was valedictorian.

La República presents a fragment of the corporate registry to illustrate its point. But it is something of a confusing fragment because the highlighted passage refers to Rejas Tataje being replaced by someone named PEDRO MARTIN SAGASTEGUI BARDALES.

Partial publication of documents is never very satisfactory, and is often used to commit the fallacy of presenting factoids out of context.

See, for example,

I tend to trust LR’s good faith, but it really ought to provide a fuller account of the business structure and the man’s purported role in the firm in order to verify what it is saying.

Did the guy just change jobs within the firm? What is his current job title? This is all sort of fuzzy.

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DEL ENTORNO DE FUJIMORI

From Fujimori’s entourage

En los años 90, Rejas Tataje trabajó muy cerca del general Nicolás Hermoza Ríos y del ex presidente Alberto Fujimori. En agosto de 1998, a la caída del “general victorioso” Montesinos y su promoción tomaron el control absoluto de las Fuerzas Armadas. Y a fines de ese año, un grupo de ocho oficiales leales a Hermoza Ríos fueron invitados al retiro o dados de baja, entre ellos Pedro Rejas Tataje. Pero de inmediato, a los pocos días, fue repuesto merced a las gestiones del ex presidente Alberto Fujimori.

In the 1990s, Tataje worked very closely with General Hermoza and former president Fujimori. In August 1998, with the fall of the “victorious general,” Montesinos and his group  assumed absolute control of the Armed Forces. Late that year, a group of eight officers loyal to Hermoza were invited to retire or were dismissed, inclding Tataje. But a few days later, he was reinstalled, thanks to maneuvers by former president Fujimori.

El coronel Rejas Tataje está en su derecho ciudadano de ejercicio político. Lo que no queda claro es si estuvo manifestando en las inmediaciones del fundo Barbadillo como tal o como ejecutivo de la misteriosa empresa de seguridad y vigilancia privada Mak Force.

Colonel Rejas Tataje has a perfect right to express himself politically, like any citizen. What is not clear is whether he is demonstrating outside the trial as such, or as the executive of a murky security firm called Mak Force.

¿Qué tipo de empresa es Mak Force?

What kind of firm is Mak Force?

Fue constituida el 2006. Figura como gerente general Kenji Fujimori Higuchi. Tiene como promotores principales a oficiales del Ejército en situación de retiro. Aparte de Pedro Rejas Tataje, está registrado el comandante (r) Roberto Muñoz Arellano, de la promoción 1994, quien oficia de gerente de operaciones de Mak Force, en sustitución de Miguel Augusto Venturini Mendoza.

It was incorporated in 2006. Its general managr is Kenji Fujimori Higuchi. Its principle representatives are retired Army officers. Besides Rejas Tataje, there is Commander (ret.) Roberto Muñoz Arellano, class of 1994, listed as operations manager, replacing Miguel Augusto Venturini Mendoza.

La gerencia administrativa la desempeñó en un comienzo Maha Vanesa Majluf Tuma, últimamente reemplazada por York Paris Block Gonzales. Su vacía página web no permite conocer la clientela de Mak Force. Versiones confidenciales hablan de “empresas transnacionales asiáticas”.

The chief administrator was intially Maha Vanesa Majluf Tuma, who as recently replaced by York Paris Block Gonzales. Its blank Web page does not list the company’s clients. Confidential sources speak of “Asian multinationals.”

Similares fuentes señalan al coronel de artillería Walter Enrique Jibaja Alcalde, detrás de bambalinas. Dicho militar postuló en las últimas elecciones en la lista de aspirantes al Congreso por la agrupación “Sí cumple”.

Similar sources point to artillery colonel Walter Enrique Jibaja Alcalde as operating behind the scenes. This soldier ran for congress in the last elections on the “Sí cumple” [“Keeping the promise, getting it done”] slate.

Wikipedia, font of all wisdom:

Sí Cumple is a political party of Peru founded by Alberto Fujimori as Vamos Vecino (literally “Let’s Go Neighbor”) in 1998 in order for the party to participate in that year’s municipal elections. In 2005 it assumed its current name. Its primary leader is Alberto Fujimori. Among its other leaders are Absalón Vasquez and its current Secretary General, Carlos Orellana Quintanilla.

According to a guidebook published by a group called Agora Democratica for the 2005 elections, Jibjaja Alcalde was the National Press and Publicity Secretary for the Sí Cumple party, which lists Fujimori as its president.

Its Web site at trincheranaranja.com [“the orange trench”] is dead. The guidebook has a graph of the party’s electoral performance:

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Conclusion: So far, the exercise is kind of a wild goose chase. But wild goose chases can still be good exercise.

The notion of legendary hostage rescue Rambos lurking around location where the Supreme Leader is being held as a political prisoner certainly does stimulate one’s B-movie memory banks.

Kenji (l.) has reportedly applied for a trademark on the name Fuji-Cola, a soft drink intended to fund support for his father. Source: BBC.

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