COMPLETES VISIT TO PERU
Dr. Marta Altolaguirre, Vice-President of the Inter-American Commission of
Human Rights (IACHR) and Rapporteur for Peru, completed her working visit,
which lasted from August 18 to August 22, 2002. The principal purpose of the visit was to hold working
meetings regarding implementation of the recommendations to the Peruvian
State made by the Inter-American Commission. There was also time for some
promotional work and a visit to the Challapalca prison in the Department of
Tacna. Dra. Altolaguirre was accompanied during her visit by two IACHR
lawyers, Dr. Ignacio J. Alvarez and Dr. Pedro E. Díaz R.
Commission is a principal organ of the Organization of American States (OAS)
and is charged with promoting, protecting, and defending human rights in the
Americas. The Commission derives its power mainly from the OAS Charter and
the American Convention on Human Rights, both of which were ratified by the
Republic of Peru. The Commission is composed of seven commissioners, who are
elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and do not
represent their countries of origin or residence.
its stay, the Commission interviewed government authorities and
representatives of different sectors of civil society. Among the authorities
they met were: Dr. Allan Wagner
Tizón, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Fausto Alvarado Dodero, Minister of
Justice; Dr. Walter Alban, Ombudsman; Dra. Nelly Calderón Navarro, Attorney
General; and Mrs. Ana María Romero-Lozada, Minister for Women and Social
Development. The Vice President also met Dr. Salomón Lerner and Sofia
Macher, members of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. She also met Dr.
Francisco Soberón, Executive Secretary of the National Coordinator of Human
Rights; representatives of other nongovernmental organizations in Peruvian
civil society; and victims and relatives of victims referred to in cases
brought to the attention of the IACHR. A meeting was also held with
relatives of inmates of the Challapalca prison.
February 2001, the Peruvian State committed itself formally and publicly to
reaching integral settlements of the violations of human rights pointed to
by the Commission in 105 final reports that were adopted and published in
accordance with Article 51 of the American Convention on Human Rights. These
reports cover 159 cases related to forced disappearances and extrajudicial
executions for which the Peruvian State was found responsible and regarding
which recommendations were made in connection with the investigation and
punishment of those responsible for those human rights violations and
reparation for members of the victims’ families. The Inter-American
Commission has accordingly been monitoring implementation of those
recommendations, in ongoing talks and meetings with representatives of the
Peruvian state, relatives of the victims, and with nongovernmental
organizations that submitted the cases to the IACHR.
that context, the Commission met the Inter-Institutional Working Group for
Follow-up on the IACHR recommendations, which was established by the
Peruvian State to look for integral settlements and comply with the
aforementioned recommendations. The
Group informed the Commission about matters related to projects and actions
designed to implement the recommendations. The Commission noted with
satisfaction the Peruvian State’s intention to extend the term of the
aforementioned Inter-Institutional Working Group. The IACHR was told of the
creation and appointment of a Special State Prosecutor for cases of forced
disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and exhumations in clandestine
graves. The Commission trusts that the Peruvian State will strengthen that
State Prosecutor’s Office by providing it with sufficient human,
logistical, and budgetary resources.
the course of its meetings, the Commission was told that the Government had
submitted to Congress a bill amending the anti-terrorist legislation in
effect in Peru since 1992. On
numerous occasions, the IACHR had recommended changing antiterrorist laws in
order to bring them into line with the American Convention on Human Rights,
the judgments of the Court, and decisions taken by the Inter-American
Commission of Human Rights. It is essential that the new legislation conform
to such international standards.
Commission received petitions regarding inhumane and degrading prison
conditions at the jail in Challapalca.
In its Second Report on the Human Rights Situation in Peru, published
in 2002, the Commission expressly recommended closing that prison. During a
meeting with the Minister of Justice, Dr. Fausto Alvarado Dodero, the
Minister told the Vice President of the Commission that he would comply with
the IACHR’s recommendation and proceed to close that penitentiary. The
Commission appreciates those statements by the Minister and trusts that the
prison at Challapalca will be closed as soon as possible. Lawyers from the
Executive Secretariat of the IACHR are currently visiting the prison at
Challapalca to verify the situation there and will report back to the
the framework of this visit, the IACHR met with representatives of the
Peruvian State and victims involved in the Five Pensioners case currently
before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, regarding failure to comply
with judgments of Peru’s Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal.
For several years now, the Commission has been monitoring the consequences,
for the full exercise of the rule of law, of the Peruvian State’s failure
to comply with judgments.
Commission would like to thank the Peruvian authorities for their
hospitality and for the facilities provided in the course of this visit. In
particular, it is grateful for the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, which assured the success of the visit. We
should also like to thank nongovernmental organizations and the OAS Office
in Peru for their invaluable assistance.
August 23, 2002