The Americas

Peru's ex-spy chief guilty of disappearing students

  • FILE - In this June 30, 2008 file photo, Vladimiro Montesinos, left, listens to his lawyer Estela Valdivia as he testifies at the trial of Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori in Lima. On Monday Sept. 26, 2016, Montesinos was sentenced to 22 years in jail for the forced disappearance of a professor and two students in 1993. He was already serving long sentences for crimes against humanity and arms trafficking. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

    FILE - In this June 30, 2008 file photo, Vladimiro Montesinos, left, listens to his lawyer Estela Valdivia as he testifies at the trial of Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori in Lima. On Monday Sept. 26, 2016, Montesinos was sentenced to 22 years in jail for the forced disappearance of a professor and two students in 1993. He was already serving long sentences for crimes against humanity and arms trafficking. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives of two university students and a professor disappeared by security forces in 1993, pose for the picture after a press conference in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Former Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the forced disappearance of the three in 1993. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

    Relatives of two university students and a professor disappeared by security forces in 1993, pose for the picture after a press conference in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Former Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the forced disappearance of the three in 1993. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

  • Javier Roca and Ricardina Andagua pose for the picture with the portrait of their son Martin, a student that was detained and disappeared by security forces in 1993, after a press conference in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Former Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the forced disappearance of Martin Andagua, a professor and a fellow student in 1993. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

    Javier Roca and Ricardina Andagua pose for the picture with the portrait of their son Martin, a student that was detained and disappeared by security forces in 1993, after a press conference in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Former Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the forced disappearance of Martin Andagua, a professor and a fellow student in 1993. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

Former Peruvian spy chief Vladimir Montesinos has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for "disappearing" a professor and two students in 1993.

Montesinos is already serving long sentences for crimes against humanity and arms trafficking.

But human rights activists said Monday's ruling by a three-judge panel was significant because it was the first time a Peruvian court recognized that the government of former President Alberto Fujimori burned the bodies of some victims during its decade-long crackdown on dissent.

The secret facility where the bodies were burned was in the basement of an army barracks from where Montesinos presided over Peru's intelligence agency.