Gastón Mansilla Yupanqui

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Gastón Gabriel Mansilla Yupanqui
Born 1990

Mr. Gastón Gabriel Mansilla Yupanqui, born in 1990, is a university student at Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal [1] who killed Víctor Ríos Acevedo (a.k.a. Niño Viejo/Old Boy) on Saturday January 7, 2012 in an apparent act of self-defense near the intersection of Tacna Avenue and Colmena Avenue, in Downtown Lima, Peru.[2]

According to Mr. Mansilla, two muggers approached him armed with switchblades[3] and demanded his cell phone and backpack. Mr. Mansilla, who had a valid concealed weapons permit at the time of the attack, drew his .38 and during the scuffle fired at point blank range killing Víctor Ríos Acevedo. Mr. Acevedo's accomplice, Christian Arenas Perona, attempted to flee, but was detained by the police after a few meters. According to Mr. Mansilla's attorney, there is an eyewitness who corroborates Mr. Mansilla's story.[4]

Mr. Mansilla was arrested and charged with second degree murder and/or violation of the Peruvian Law of Proportionality,[5] a law that had been repealed in 2003. Under the terms of this law, one was entitled to defend oneself only with a weapon similar to that employed by one's attacker. In this case the student, who was attacked by two knife-wielding assailants, would have been required to use a knife in order to avoid legal complications.

The Third Penal Court's decision to keep Mr. Mansilla in jail during the investigation was immediately objected to[6] by his family and friends who staged a demonstration calling for his immediate release. Present at said demonstration were Manuel Asmat the dean of the Education Faculty and Juan Díaz Dios Congressman for Fuerza 2011 who presented a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the student. Classmate Marco Vargas Romero, age 24, labeled the judge's decision, "unbelievable," "surprising" and "arbitrary." [7] Several other congressmen have also spoken in defense of Mr. Mansilla, such as The president of the Public Safety Committee of Congress, Renzo Reggiardo, Congressman for Cambio 90, who criticized Judge Asunción Puma León's decision to order the arrest of Mr. Mansilla Yupanqui, and Víctor Andrés García Belaúnde, Congressman for Alianza Parlamentaria, said the court's decision to imprison Mr. Mansilla is an "abuse" that must be sanctioned by the Office of the Control of the Magistrate (OCMA).[8]

Additionally Congressman Juan Díaz has indicated that he will send a report to the Office of the Control of the Magistrate (OCMA) and to the president of the Justice System so that corrective measures are taken and Mr. Mansilla is liberated.

On Thursday, 12 January 2012, Mr. José Luis Pérez, head of the Instituto Nacional Penitenciario (INPE), received a judicial order for the release of Mr. Mansilla[9] issued by Juan Carlos Aranda Giraldo, who presides over the second penal court, revoking the detention order[10] and Mr. Mansilla was liberated on Friday, 13 January 2012[11] at 10:50 A.M. EST.

On 13 January 2012 The Office of the Control of the Magistrate suspended the judge Asunción Puma while the disciplinary process against her is resolved in the case of Gastón Mansilla. On Friday, 13 January the judge appeared on the TV Program "90 seconds" to defend her actions. "I am not inept," she declared. "I have no reason to regret making an appealable jurisdictional decision." She denied that the decision to remand Mr. Mansilla to jail pending the investigation was prompted by the repealed Law of Proportionality.[12] The judge also turned in her letter of resignation at that time[13] but this has not halted the disciplinary investigation against her, which would taint her ability to become a judge again should a decision be made against her.