Some 111 war rifles were manipulated and transformed inside a warehouse in the Army until they become spell weapons (those that combine original and handmade pieces), according to an investigation published this Sunday in Fourth power. The ‘change’ occurred in a military installation where no weapon is moved without being carefully registered.
Three years after the case was uncovered by a commander, and with no responsible party discovered, the military institution’s attorney confirmed that the 5.56 mm Galil rifles They were stripped one by one until they were only a model, so the case was referred to the Military Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the Sunday, in 2021, Commander Zanoni Durand, who joined as the new commander of the 512th War Material Battalion, replacing Ricardo Jaramillo —his predecessor—discovered the irregular manipulation and reported it to the brigadier general of the War Material Service, Mario Chavezbrother of the current Minister of Defense.
“The incoming commander detects these occurrences with a relief that he had with an outgoing management. When that happens, an initial report is formulated and goes to higher command,” indicated the Deputy Inspector General of the Army, Victor Huertas. According to the report, Commander Durand asked that urgent measures be taken and that the War Materials Inspectorate begin an investigation.
However, Chávez demanded that he deliver a detailed report. Fourth power accessed that document. It is only enough to cite one finding to show the magnitude of the manipulation: the rifle with code 96105944 does not have a flash guard, the rings are deteriorated, the receiver has been replaced with a handmade one and it does not have a magazine catch, trigger, handle or stock.
With that report, the minister’s brother ordered Commander Jaramillo, Durand’s predecessor, to be sanctioned with eight days of simple arrest. Eleven months later, according to the report, he requested that the weapons be decommissioned through the destruction method, that is, that they be melted down as if there had been no irregularity.
The commander did not agree, since “since they were non-original spells, melting down the 111 rifles would entail administrative and criminal responsibilities,” reads a document cited in the Sunday. At the beginning of 2022, and with the process still underway, a new head of war materiel for the Army, General Aldo Cornejo, was appointed.
One of the first actions was to order the Inspectorate to carry out a new report on the war material that existed in Battalion 512, where the manipulated weapons had been found. The audit confirmed that they were “artisanal replica weapons with non-original components rebuilt by hand,” making them “useless and unrecoverable.”
Only in January of this year, the Army Prosecutor’s Office reported the case to the Military Police Prosecutor’s Office, although that accusation places emphasis on “the alleged commission of a criminal offense committed by Lieutenant Colonel Zanoni Durand and those who are responsible.” That is to say, the uniformed officer who put the spotlight on the discovery has ended up being reported.
Through a statement, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Attorney General’s Office also requested “the valorization of the rifles so that they can serve as support as civil reparation before the Prosecutor’s Office,” although it did not refer to those involved or why responsibility has been incurred. about the initial complainant.
Last week, Panorama evidenced the theft of fuel at the General Headquarters of the Peruvian Army, known as the pentagonite, by order of Commander Jimmy Grandez. The case was reported by Marco Auccatoma, sergeant of the Military Police Battalion.
“So far, we have 12 people identified by Sgt. As far as can be seen, we have implicated that they are in the rank of colonels, lieutenant-colonels, majors, and even captains who are noted in the WhatsApp of the sergeant who has provided this information. In the shortest time [se va a] identify and sanction those people,” said Defense Minister Jorge Chávez.