Peru court reverses sentence reduction in 1991 massacre

Peru's highest court has thrown out a previous ruling that reduced the prison sentences of 15 soldiers convicted of a 1991 massacre.

The Supreme Court overturned its own ruling regarding the death squad killings at the request of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, according to the Associated Press. Chief justice Cesar San Martin also said an arrest warrant for Alberto Pinto, the former army intelligence chief who was released after the July ruling, had been issued. He had previously been serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated murder.

"We are attentive to and respectful of the international order," San Martin told Agence France-Presse. "The sentence in question is without effect, has no juridical value or implication. It's definitive, unappealable, unobjectionable. There is nothing to do." 

The AP also reported that the sentence reductions had provoked outrage across Peru. Most of the 15 had their sentences reduced from 25 to 20 years, making the eligible to apply for parole. The men were a part of the so-called Colina death squad, which was formed under then-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos.

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The death squad members had previously been found guilty of crimes against humanity in the killings of 15 people, including one minor, in a Lima neighborhood in November 1991, said AFP. The victims were suspected of belonging to the Shining Path guerilla group.