IMF Official Arrested in Buenos Aires

The Peruvian Jorge Baca Campodonico was Minister of Economy during Fujimori's Government. He is in Argentina as part of a new IMF mission in the South American country.

Interpol agents detained one of the members of the IMF-WB new mission to Argentina, Jorge Baca Campodonico, on Thursday, a few meters from the Sheraton Hotel of Buenos Aires. The former Peruvian Minister of Economy currently serves in the International Monetary Fund and is accused of links to the former chief of the Peruvian intelligence services, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Montesinos was the main collaborator of the Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990 - 2000) and is now under arrest in Lima for criminal actions against the public administration. Montesinos has also been prosecuted on connections with narcotraffic, corruption and political assassinations.

Baca Campodonico is an expert on taxation systems and conducted the reform of the Peruvian tax collection department. According to sources in Peru, the reform has serious irregularities as excluded from control hundreds of politicians and public officials connected with Fujimori's administration.

The IMF representative has been driven to the local courts, which will decide whether to extradite him to Peru or not. The tribunal is studying if Baca Campodonico has any kind of immunity arising from his position in the international organism. Interpol has an international order of capture against him.

Baca Campodonico usually works at IMF's offices in New York and reasonably, local official sources asked why he was not arrested in the USA. Interpol's chasing order is international and the United States of America is subject to such regulations as member of the UN.

The IMF and the World Bank had sent a mission to Buenos Aires in order to survey public accounts. After the incident it is not clear whether they will start on Monday or not.

Baca Campodonico served in a Government that, apart from the corruption charges, Human Rights Watch is also after its head, Alberto Fujimori, for extrajudicial executions, torture and intimidation occurred frequently and systematically covered up. Montesinos was sent to prison, while Fujimori fled to Japan, where Government still protects him.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

Photo (Clarin): Baca Campodonico (left), with Alberto Fujimori in 1998.