LIMA — An arrest warrant has been ordered for the father-and-son owners of Peru’s America Television Canal 4, Jose Enrique and Jose Francisco Crousillat, amid allegations of political corruption.
The Crousillats are accused of taking $1.5 million a month from disgraced former national security advisor Vladimiro Montesinos to bias news coverage in favor of ex-President Alberto Fujimori’s government.
The police raided their three homes in Lima but with no luck. Crousillat senior is believed to be hiding in Peru, while his son is allegedly in Miami.
Jose Francisco Crousillat admitted the bribery in a Feb. 19 phone interview with Canal 4 and said he was willing to return to Peru in exchange for immunity from prosecution for information on other TV execs who worked with Montesinos.
The local press reports that Mexico’s Televisa, which owns a chunk of Canal 4, is thinking of pulling out of its agreement with the Crousillats.
The move against the pair came on the heels of the Feb. 23 arrest of brothers Samuel and Mendel Winter, who own 46% of Frecuencia Latina Canal 2. They also signed a contract with Montesinos, receiving $500,000 a month for their collaboration.
The Winters took over Canal 2 in 1997 after Fujimori’s government stripped the majority stockholder, Israeli-born Baruch Ivcher, of his Peruvian citizenship and his channel.
Ivcher had his nationality restored and regained the station in December from interim President Valentin Paniagua, who replaced Fujimori a few weeks earlier.
Other TV execs have also been implicated in the corruption involving Montesinos, who has been missing since October, and Fujimori, who resigned in November while visiting Japan. He remains in Tokyo.
The execs include Genaro Delgado Parker, owner of Red Global Canal 13, caught on video at Montesino’s National Security headquarters, agreeing to silence an anti-government newscaster.
Delgado Parker, who is in Miami, says the meeting with Montesinos was in poor judgment but denies committing any crimes.
The first evidence of Montesinos’ control over the TV industry surfaced in early January, when another video showed Eduardo Calmell del Solar, owner of Canal Cable de Noticias Canal 10, taking a suitcase stuffed with $2 million. Calmell del Solar is under house arrest. The Crousillats, Winters and Calmell del Solar face 10-year prison sentences if found guilty.