[Ppnews] Suspected Russian spy Vicky Pelaez led many lives
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 30 10:43:42 EDT 2010
Suspected Russian spy Vicky Pelaez, a Spanish-language journalist,
led many lives
Gonzalez - News
Wednesday, June 30th 2010, 4:00 AM
Of the accused Russian spies the
nabbed this week, none surprised more people than Spanish-language
journalist <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Vicky+Pelaez>Vicky Pelaez.
The others, after all, even Pelaez's husband,
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Juan+Lazaro>Juan Lazaro, were
Pelaez, on the other hand, has been in the public spotlight for more
than 30 years - first as a trailblazing TV reporter in her native
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Peru>Peru, and then as a reporter
and columnist for <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York>New
York's own <http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Diario-La+Prensa>El
In the early 1980s, she was the lovely rising star of Frecuencia
Latina, the main evening news show on Peru's Channel 2. She pioneered
a new style of aggressive street reporting and live standups that a
whole generation of Peruvian journalists would emulate.
In 1984, at the height of her career, Pelaez and her cameraman were
kidnapped by one of Peru's leftist guerrilla organizations, the
Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). They were held prisoners until
Channel 2 agreed to broadcast the rebels' message to the nation.
Even then, there were signs she was leading more than one life.
Some, including her cameraman, claimed Pelaez was a willing
accomplice to her kidnapping. Soon after, she left Peru and moved to
New York, where she landed a job as a reporter at El Diario, the
city's oldest Spanish-language daily.
By then, she had married Lazaro, a political science professor who
claims to have been born in
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Uruguay>Uruguay, but who was
caught on FBI surveillance tapes confiding he had been raised in the
In her columns for El Diario, Pelaez, 55, often criticized
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/United+States>U.S. policy in
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Latin+America>Latin America and
supported the region's radical movements. Even those who opposed her
views respected her convictions.
"She always said exactly what was on her mind," one El Diario
colleague said yesterday.
"Vicky's a radical, so we didn't talk politics," another colleague,
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Lilliana+Bringas>Lilliana Bringas, said.
Her husband was even more hard-line in his political views, friends
say. In a 1990 article for a European journal, Lazaro wrote glowingly
Path, the Maoist guerrilla army in Peru.
The couple's admiration for the Shining Path was so well-known that
their friends can't fathom how they could ever end up spying for
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Russia>Russia. Maoists regarded
the old Soviet Union as an enemy - even more so the modern Russian Federation.
Yet the federal indictment claims that, beginning in January 2000,
Pelaez and Lazaro traveled to Latin America at least three occasions,
each time receiving large sums of cash from Russian agents.
The information Lazaro provided for that money was apparently so bad
that his Russian handlers complained.
The couple's oldest son,
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Waldo+Mariscal>Waldo Mariscal, 38,
an architect, insisted the government is persecuting his parents for
their political views.
The allegations are "all inflated little pieces turned into a mosaic
of unbelievable things," he said. "It's preposterous."
When you stop to think for a moment, it seems bizarre this
FBIinvestigation went on for at least 10 years, with the entire ring
of spies producing little real damage.
Then, only days after
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Barack+Obama>President Obama met
with Russia's president, and just as relations between the two
countries are on the verge of a breakthrough, the spy ring is suddenly busted.
One thing is clear though: With her many lives, Pelaez may be at the
center of more conspiracies than anyone realizes.
<mailto:jgonzalez at nydailynews.com>jgonzalez at nydailynews.com
With Kevin Deutsch
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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