[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 
obscure figures.

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 
Diario-La Prensa.

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 
<http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/U.S.S.R.>Soviet Union.

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 
of the 
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

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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