My blogger friend in Japan, Futeki, scans South American publications daily for news and stakes results. A few days ago he posted an item, taken from Peru Hipico , about an attack on a Peruvian stud farm, a story that’s received little attention in Peru, much less in South America. It’s a brutal and bizarre story, however, and it may run deeper than its sensational surface.
Here’s what happened, according to the Peru Hipico story: Nine gunmen invaded Gustavo Cesti Hurtado’s Haras Cary Gus, a stud farm in the district of Villa Tupac Amaru, in the province of Pisco, at 11:30 pm on Thursday, July 16. The gunmen captured the manager and farm workers, took the daily farm payroll, demanded $20,000, which they apparently thought was in the main house, demanded the phone number and whereabouts of the owner, took farm equipment (field tools, such as shovels, pick axes, and machetes) and some valuables from the house, and left with the stud’s two best stallions, Tunez and Promocion.
Now, here’s where the story turns bizarre and brutal. After the rustlers had left, the farm manager contacted the authorities, and a posse was formed. The police found the remains of the two stallions about half a kilometer from the farm. They had been beheaded and quartered, and all that remained from the butchering were the heads and bones. Peru Hipico said it had photos of the gruesome scene but did not publish them. According to the story, the police believe the rustlers were part of a gang that sold horseflesh on the black market.
The Peru Hipico story also noted that last November, the farm had been invaded in similar fashion and two mares had been taken. Both were found safe by the authorities, but apparently in the nick of time, as both were hobbled and apparently prepared for butchering.
On the surface, it’s a grisly enough tale. What I’ve found — and there’s no way for me to verify this short of speaking to the stud owner — is that there might be a “Godfather” element to the killings. IF the owner of Haras Cary Gus, Gustavo Cesti Hurtado, is the person of the same name who won an Inter-American Court of Human Rights decision in 1999 against the Peruvian State during the reign of Peruvian strongman Alberto Fujimori, he’d have plenty of enemies in high places floating around. Gustavo Cesti Hurtado, once a captain in the army, was an army insurance broker who got caught up in a high-profile scandal during the Fujimori era and was sentenced to jail by the military court, the CSJM (Supreme Council of Military Justice), even though he was a civilian at the time.
While in jail, his wife and daughter were continually harrased by unknown elements, his assets and property were confiscated, and he was denied adequate medical attention in the military prison, Simon Bolivar, according to court documents.
There are certain dates and facts that indicate the human rights victim and the farm owner could be the same person. For one, Cesti, after two years and nine months behind bars at Simon Bolivar, was freed on Nov. 11, 1999, from the Inter-American court ruling. Haras Cary Gus was founded in 2000.
Also, the Peru Hipico story noted that Cesti was on his way to Lima after spending a month and a half in the US for health problems. Several briefs in the Cesti case noted that he had heart problems that required the attention of specialists in the US.
If the businessman Cesti who won the court ruling is the same Cesti who owns Haras Cary Gus, throw in some serious political intrigue into the savagery of the crime.