Peru has made significant progress in decreasing certain
serious human rights violations.
The National Human Rights Coordinating Committee (Coordinadora
Nacional de Derechos Humanos), in its Report for 1996, states that a
total of 292 deaths caused by political violence were on record for
the entire year.
Of this total, the armed group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso)
was responsible for 123 of these deaths, and the Tupac Amaru
Revolutionary Movement was responsible for an additional three.
Of the 292 killings, 131 were attributed by the National
Coordinating Committee to armed confrontations, and only nine killings
were directly attributable to the security forces.
According to information provided by the Government of Peru,
the capture of the leaders of Shining Path and the MRTA has led to a
significant decrease in allegations of human rights violations.
The Attorney General's Office (Fiscalía de la Nación)
registered 297 complaints for 1993, 105 in 1994, 54 for 1995, and only
15 for 1996.
Although the Commission does not have the competence under the
American Convention to address individual cases alleging violations of
rights protected in the Convention which do not involve State
responsibility, the Commission has repeatedly condemned the actions of
armed groups who employ terrorist tactics in Peru.
In 1996, the Commission expressed its concern over the
participation of such groups in Peru.
On December 18, 1996, for example, the Commission severely
condemned the taking of hostages and the seizure of the residence of
the Japanese Ambassador to Peru.
Promulgation of the 1993 Constitution has been a positive step
toward the reestablishment of democracy and the rule of law in Peru.
Scant progress has been made, however, in restoring the
separation of powers among the three branches of government.
In addition, the improper influence of the Executive and
military in the judiciary persists.
Of the criteria set forth at the beginning of this chapter,
Peru is included because of the continuing imposition of states of
emergency, despite the government declarations and the evidence that
the causes that prevailed in the late 1980s and early 1990s have
Today one can note significant differences compared to the
situation less than a decade ago, when Peru was characterized by
hyperinflation, rampant violence generated by warring armed groups,
loss of markets and hence foreign exchange, collapse of the internal
financial markets, increased dominance of drug trafficking,
disintegration of internal social service delivery mechanisms
(education, health), and failure of infrastructure (highways, water
supply systems, communications, power).
On April 9, 1995, general elections were held to elect the
President and members of Congress.
President Fujimori was reelected for a second five-year term,
with 65% of the vote. The
government party also won 67 seats in the unicameral Congress, with 12
opposition parties winning the remaining 53 seats.
The parliamentary majority enjoyed by the Government made it
possible to pass Law Nº 26,479 which, inter alia, grants a general
amnesty to military, police, and civilian personnel who were the
subject of a complaint, investigation, indictment, trial or
conviction, or who were serving prison sentences for human rights
violations committed between May 1980 and June 15, 1995, evading the
regular procedures for proposing and adopting laws, by preventing
public debate on them. The bill had not been publicly announced or
debated and was passed soon after it was presented in the early
morning hours of June 14, 1995, and signed by President Fujimori the
next day. In order to
prevent any judicial review of the Amnesty Law, a second Amnesty Law,
Law Nº 26,492, was passed by Congress on June 28, 1995; it prohibits
the judiciary from ruling on the legality or applicability of the
first amnesty law.
THE STATE OF EMERGENCY
According to the National Human Rights Coordinating Committee
report for 1996, approximately 42.1% of the Peruvian population
continued to live under a state of emergency, which extended to 18.5%
of the national territory.
According to a document submitted to the Commission by the
Government of Peru on March 7, 1997, "on the reasons for which
the Peruvian State continues to maintain some emergency measures
within the framework of the pacification process," 16.15% of the
national territory of Peru was under a state of emergency as of
year-end 1996. In 1995,
22.2% of the national territory was under a state of emergency and
48.2% of the population lived in emergency zones, as compared with
25.3% of the territory and 44.2% of the population in 1994, according
to the 1995 annual report presented by the National Human Rights
Under a state of emergency, the civilian authorities cede
control of specific territories to the Political-Military Command,
which is comprised of police and members of the armed forces.
A state of emergency is "decreed in the event of a
disturbance of the peace or internal order, a disaster or serious
circumstances affecting the life of the Nation. In such circumstances, the rights connected with personal
freedom and security, inviolability of the home, and freedom of
assembly and movement may be restricted or suspended.
The state of emergency may not remain in force for more than 60
days, a new decree being required for any extension.
The armed forces assume control of law and order if the
President of the Republic so directs." (emphasis added)
The Government of Peru has been extending the state of
emergency in various departments throughout the country year after
year, even though the Government itself publicly states that the
situation giving rise to it has changed substantially.
The violence generated by the two major armed groups in Peru,
Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which
emerged in 1984, has subsided substantially from its high points in
the 1988 to 1992 period. Nonetheless,
a serious situation ensued in December 1996, when the MRTA attacked
the residence of the Ambassador of Japan in Peru, initially holding
hundreds of citizens and dignitaries hostage. By March 1997, as of the
approval of this Annual Report, that MRTA was still holding 72 persons
Despite the general decrease in violence, both the state of
emergency and the anti-terrorist legislation have been maintained and
virtually institutionalized. This
legislation was described and analyzed at length by the Commission in
the Commission's Annual Report for 1993; it is referred to here for
the sake of brevity.
The Commission observes with concern the extension of the
"faceless" tribunals for an additional year.
In another example of the legislation adopted without
significant debate early in the morning on October 10, 1996, the
Peruvian Congress approved a law extending for one year the life of
the "faceless" tribunals for terrorism proceedings, until
October 4, 1997.
Keeping secret the identity of the "faceless" judges
and prosecutors prevents them from guaranteeing the independence and
impartiality of the courts. The
anonymity of the judges deprives the defendant of the basic guarantees
of justice. He does not
know who is judging him or whether that person is qualified to do so.
Thus the defendant is prevented from having a trial by a
competent, independent, and impartial court as guaranteed by Article 8
of the American
proceedings involving terrorism do not allow for recusal of judges or
court assistants. Since the purpose of recusal is to guarantee the
impartiality of the person who hands down the judicial decision,
prevention of its exercise denies the guarantee of a fair trial before
an impartial court.
To keep their identity secret, the norm authorizes the judges not
to sign or seal the decisions they issue.
Only codes and keys are used to identify the judges.
For this reason, the institution of "faceless" judges
violates another of the guarantees indispensable in a democratic
society: the need to hold
public officials liable when they act in violation of the law.
By not knowing the identity of the persons judging them, the
defendants are prevented from holding these officials civilly liable.
With all the restrictions mentioned, the principles of criminal
due process are in danger of being seriously impaired.
The Commission also observes with concern that the courts
regularly admit into the proceedings statements obtained through
coercive procedures, and that some statements are based exclusively on
confessions extracted during police interrogations, through the use of
torture. Article 10 of the
Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, to which Peru
is a State party, establishes that no statement obtained through torture
shall be admissible as evidence in a legal proceeding.
By virtue of this international prohibition, the Commission
recommends to the Peruvian judicial authorities that they reject any
confessions obtained through torture.
The Peruvian government has stated publicly that it has
effectively dismantled the subversive groups, with the capture of
important leaders in various parts of the country, and as a result that
"it has become necessary to relax the measures in question."
April 21, 1995, as part of the relaxation of these measures, Law Nº
26,447 was published, reestablishing 18 years as the age of criminal
liability in cases of terrorism (it had been 15 years); and restored the
right of the accused to be assisted by a defense lawyer from the moment
of his arrest. Further,
this law eliminated "faceless" tribunals as of October 15,
1995. Unfortunately, the
abolition of "faceless" tribunals did not take place and these
tribunals were extended for another year; and, as mentioned above, in
October 1996, their abolition was again proposed and defeated, and they
were again extended for yet another year.
Without entirely sharing the government's optimistic assessment,
because the facts show that terrorist activity continues, albeit on a
diminished scale, the Commission is of the view that not only should the
legislation referred to be lifted, but that it should be fully brought
into line with the standards set by the American Convention.
In its 1993 Annual Report, the Commission stated that
"civilians tried in military courts are being denied their right to
be heard by an independent and impartial judge, a right required under
Article 8(1) of the Convention. It
is the job of the Armed Forces to combat the terrorists by engaging the
irregular armed groups militarily, as is their primary role in the
campaign against subversion. The Commission is of the view that the armed forces, however,
overstep their natural role when they prosecute civilians accused of
belonging to subversive groups, as this function is in the proper
purview of regular criminal justice."
The Commission understands that despite the reduction in
political violence in Peru, serious threats continue to exist, as they
have at different moments in different countries in the hemisphere.
The Commission believes, however, that respect for human rights
is totally compatible with a strong policy against terrorism.
The Convention describes the regime applicable to extreme
situations, and the measures that should be adopted within the framework
of international human rights law.
The methods and mechanisms used by the Peruvian State go beyond
that which is permitted by this framework.
In its struggle against terrorism, Peru has shown tolerance by
its senior authorities for the use of torture during police
addition, the system of "faceless" tribunals has denied
individuals accused of terrorism or treason the right to be tried by an
impartial, independent court, as well as denying them the right to
defend themselves and the right to due process, and has transformed the
judicial process into a summary procedure for sentencing persons who are
presumed guilty before they enter the system.
This policy of tolerating human rights violations achieved its
counterpart in the form of Amnesty Law Nº 26,479, which prevents the
investigation, prosecution and punishment of state agents responsible
for crimes against humanity.
The Government of Peru has informed the Commission that the
Attorney General's Office (Fiscalía Especial de Derechos Humanos) has
set up the National Register of Detainees, which is intended to prevent
arbitrary arrest, the forced disappearance of persons, torture and
The 1996 Report of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced
or Involuntary Disappearances notes that "although the number of
disappearances in Peru has decreased, cases reportedly still occur and
the National Registry of Detainees is said to be ineffective in
preventing such disappearances."
It provides a computerized program to monitor arrests made by the
security forces; although originally designed to register persons
detained for the crime of terrorism, it is a public data registration
system on all detainees.
THE ANTITERRORIST LAWS
The Commission continues to observe with concern that certain
provisions contained in the antiterrorist legislation have been given
constitutional rank. In
this fashion, certain restrictions on fundamental rights have become
permanent. These provisions
include Article 140 of the Constitution of Peru,
which extends the death penalty to the crimes of treason and terrorism, for which it was not applied
previously; Article 173 of the same instrument, which transfers
jurisdiction of the civil tribunals in cases of terrorism and treason to
the military tribunals; and, finally, Articles 2.24(f) and (g), which
allow 15 days of police detention incommunicado.
These reforms are incompatible with the obligations freely
assumed by the Peruvian State contained in the American Convention.
THE AMNESTY LAWS
The first amnesty law: Law Nº 26,479
In April 1992, General Rodolfo Robles Espinoza publicly denounced
the existence of a "death squad" organized by the National
Intelligence Service (SIN) of Peru, called the "Colina" Group.
It was responsible for capturing and executing persons on a
preestablished list of presumed terrorists.
According to the statement made by General Robles, the members of
the Colina Group had been responsible for the illegal detention and
subsequent extrajudicial execution of a professor and nine students from
the University of La Cantuta, which occurred on July 17, 1992 (the
"Cantuta" case), and for the "Barrio Altos"
massacre, which occurred in November 1991.
General Robles revealed the names of the military personnel who
constituted this "death squad" and indicated that the
Commander General of the Army, General Nicolás de Bari Hermoza Ríos,
and presidential advisor Vladimiro Montecinos, were involved in these
events as accessories after the fact and as intellectual authors.
The testimony provided by General Robles enabled the Peruvian
judicial authorities to try and convict important members of the
Peruvian Armed Forces in the "La Cantuta" case and to identify
and prosecute the individuals presumed responsible for the massacre that
had taken place in "Barrios Altos."
The judicial investigations in the Barrios Altos case were moving
toward the trial of high-ranking military officers, including Major
Santiago Martín Rivas and Major General Julio Salazar Monroe, Chief of
the National Intelligence Service, and also noncommissioned officers
Nelson Carbajal García, Juan José Sosa Saavedra, and Hugo Corral
Goycochea, convicted for the events at "La Cantuta."
Unexpectedly, early in the morning of June 16, 1995, the Peruvian
Congress promulgated the Amnesty Law, Law Nº 26,479, which "grants
amnesty to military, police, and civilian personnel who have been
accused, investigated and indicted upon occasion or as a consequence of
the struggle against terrorism since May 1980."
Under this law, the few public officials responsible for
enforcing the law who had been convicted of torture, forced
disappearances, and extrajudicial executions were released.
The Commission considers that a serious and impartial
investigation is precisely the most effective means to establish the
innocence of people who may have been unjustly accused.
In the case of the Barrios Altos massacre, Judge Antonia
Sacquicuray decided to continue the judicial process, considering the
amnesty unconstitutional and so inapplicable.
B. The second
amnesty law: Law Nº 26,492
Judge Sacquicuray's decision led to the promulgation of a new
law, Law Nº 26,492, which prohibits judges from making a "judicial
interpretation" of the amnesty's scope.
The Commission believes that a law that prohibits judges from
interpreting the law is an act infringing on the legitimate powers of
the judiciary. The
judiciary is responsible for reviewing the arbitrary or unconstitutional
acts of the other branches of government.
When one branch of government, in this case the legislature,
obstructs one of the legitimate activities of the judiciary (such as
interpreting the law), it is violating judicial independence and
illegally forcing the courts to apply unconstitutional laws.
The Peruvian State has the obligation to ensure for its people
free exercise of their basic rights and the right to allow the domestic
mechanisms for protecting such rights to function adequately, pursuant
to Article 25 of the American Convention.
C. Scope of
The Amnesty Law has benefitted all members of the Armed Forces
and the police who may be investigated, accused, or convicted of human
rights violations. Article
1 is broad and ambiguous, granting amnesty to anyone who is being tried
or has been convicted. According
to Article 1, the benefit covers all military, police, and civilian
officials, whether they have been arraigned, investigated, tried,
indicted, or convicted, before a regular or special court for common or
military crimes for any event, stemming from or originating on the
occasion of or as a consequence of the struggle against terrorism, and
that may have been committed individually or by a group, from May 1980
to June 14, 1995.
Article 3 of the law provides for the immediate release of all
persons deprived of their freedom, whether they were arrested, detained,
in prison, or in confinement.
The law interpreting the Amnesty Law not only fails to provide an
effective remedy, but goes much further, denying any possibility of
appeal or of bringing an objection based on human rights violations, as
it states that the law applies even to those violations that have not
been the subject of allegations.
Some of the crimes covered by the amnesty, including acts of
torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, have been
considered an affront to the conscience of the hemisphere and are crimes
THE OMBUDSMAN AND THE AD HOC COMMISSION
The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the 1993
Constitution. Articles 161
and 162 of the Constitution provide that this is an autonomous body.
It is responsible for safeguarding the constitutional and
fundamental rights of the individual and the community, and for
supervising the State administration's performance of its duties and the
provision of public services. The
Human Rights Ombudsman may initiate legislation and propose measures to
improve the performance of the State's duties. The IACHR values the
creation of this important office and believes that it has great
potential to contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation
The Human Rights Ombudsman was appointed by the Congress in March
1996; in view of the problem of persons tried and convicted for
terrorism and treason, he began to study the problem and the various
bills submitted to the Congress, in order to propose a formula that
might win unanimous backing. On
August 1, 1996, President Fujimori endorsed the bill proposed by the
Ombudsman, and forwarded it to the Congress.
The bill provided for the creation of an Ad hoc Commission for
the purpose of evaluating cases and recommending pardons to the
President. The bill win the
unanimous support of the Committee on Human Rights and Pacification, and
of the plenary of the Congress; it was unanimously adopted on August 15,
Law Nº 26,655 created the Ad hoc Commission, whose mission, as
noted above, is to evaluate cases and recommend pardons to the President
when it can reasonably presume that the individual indicted or convicted
of terrorism or treason actually had no connection to terrorist
organizations or activities.
On September 11, 1996, the Technical Secretariat notified public
opinion as to the procedures for presenting petitions to the Commission.
On December 7, 1996, the Commission agreed to recommend
presidential pardons in 110 cases, and the President pardoned 104
persons and granted special executive pardon to six.
As a result of the events in the Residence of the Ambassador of
Japan in Peru, the Ad hoc Commission stopped meeting for a period of
three weeks. Then its
meetings were scheduled at long intervals.
Nonetheless, the Technical Secretariat continued to receive
requests and continued with its work of evaluating and classifying
cases, with the support of the judicial and penitentiary authorities.
The Technical Secretariat sent several missions outside of Lima
to meet with prisoners convicted of terrorism in prisons in the North
and South of Peru. The
Secretariat also visited the Castro and Chorrillos prisons in Lima in
order to interview those who submitted their cases for review.
The Ad hoc Commission and the Technical Secretariat have also
taken up the subjects of prison conditions in the maximum security
prisons and the antiterrorist legislation, especially as regards the
"faceless" judges and the military tribunals.
Of a total of 3,876 individuals incarcerated in Peru for crimes
of terrorism or treason, 1,774 have submitted requests for review to the
Ad hoc Commission.
To date, the Commission has reviewed only one-fourth that number.
The Commission's mandate can be expected to be extended through
1997 to allow it to complete its mission.
Of the 110 persons who have been pardoned, 15 served less than
one year in prison, 11 served 1 to 2 years, 14 served 2 to 3 years, 36
served 3 to 4 years, 24 served 4 to 5 years, and 10 served 5 years or
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
The Constitutional Court was made a part of Peru's legal system
by the 1979 Constitution, although it was called the Court of
Constitutional Guarantees at that time.
After the break with the constitutional order on April 5, 1992,
the Constitutional Court was shut down and the cases that were pending
before were not resolved.
Articles 201 through 204 of the 1993 Constitution restored the
Constitutional Court. Its
principal function is to serve as a court of constitutional review.
An autonomous and independent agency, it is made up of seven
members who are elected for five-year terms by Congress, by vote of
two-thirds of the legal number of its members.
The Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of
legislative and executive branches and reviews rulings involving human
rights (amparo and habeas corpus).
The Commission notes with special interest the resumption of
operations of the Constitutional Court, given the role this institution
can play in strengthening democracy and human rights.
Yet the Commission is concerned that the laws regulating the
Court's operations tend to weaken its powers and its competency to
declare laws unconstitutional. By
law, a vote by six of the Court's seven members is required for a
finding of unconstitutionality, practically nullifying the review power
granted to it.
In the decision creating the Judicial Coordination Council (Law Nº
26,623), even though some of the most controversial provisions of the
law had been declared unconstitutional, five of the seven members voted
to find all of the transitory provisions unconstitutional as well;
consequently, the necessary majority was not attained, thereby
frustrating the annulment of articles that are clearly unconstitutional.
It should be noted that the law creates an overarching state
authority, above the highest-level judicial bodies, allowing for the
blatant interference of the Executive in the administration of justice
and judicial reform. Some
prior decisions also attest to the impossibility of constitutional
review under a system that establishes virtual unanimity to find a law
FAILURE OF THE PERUVIAN STATE TO COMPLY WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in the judgment handed
down January 19, 1995, declared, inter alia, that "Peru has
violated the right to life recognized in Article 4(1) of the American
Convention on Human Rights, in relation to Article 1(1) thereof, to the
detriment of Víctor Neira-Alegría, Edgar Zenteno-Escobar and William
Zenteno-Escobar." (Operative paragraph 1)
In the same judgment the Court decided "that Peru is obliged
to pay fair compensation to the next of kin of the victims on the
occasion of the proceedings and to reimburse the expenditures that they
have incurred in their petitions before the national authorities"
and "that the form and extent of the compensation and the
reimbursement of the expenditures shall be determined by Peru and the
Commission, by mutual agreement, within a term of six months as of the
date of notification of this judgment." (Operative paragraphs 3 and
Pursuant to the decision of the Court, on February 14, 1995, the
Commission directed a communication to the Government of Peru to set, by
mutual agreement with the representatives of the IACHR, the amount of
compensation and expenses referred to in the judgment of the Honorable
Due to the lack of a response by the Peruvian State, no
negotiation was possible, which constituted a very serious additional
injury to the victims' relatives.
Consequently, on July 21, 1995, the Commission addressed the
Court to request that, pursuant to the provisions of Article 47 of the
Regulations, as well as operative paragraph 5 of the judgment of January
19, 1995, it begin the procedure for the Court to determine the amount
of the compensation and the expenses that the Peruvian State is to pay
to the victims' relatives.
In a judgment of September 19, 1996, the Court set "total
compensation due the relatives of the [three] victims in the case at
Instead of complying with the judgment of the Court, on January
6, 1997, the Peruvian State, once the term of 90 days provided for by
Article 67 of the American Convention for seeking clarification of the
judgment had lapsed, requested "the interpretation of the judgment
on reparations" issued by the Court on September 19, 1996, and
reported on September 20, 1996.
The Court denied the request for interpretation on grounds of
lateness. As of the date of
approval of this Report, the Peruvian State has not complied with the
Court's judgment; its non-compliance continues to pose a serious problem
to the victims' relatives.
The Commission recommends that the entirety of the anti-terrorist
legislation and the regulations consistent with it be brought into line
with the American Convention. In this connection, Article 27 of the American Convention,
which regulates situations of emergency as regards the absolute respect
for those rights that are non-derogable, and the guarantees essential to
protect such rights, should meet with full compliance.
a) The Commission
recommends that the "faceless" courts be replaced by regular
criminal courts that offer the accused the minimal guarantees required
by due process and the right to defense.
The Commission recommends that the Peruvian State adopt
legislative or other measures to eradicate the practice of torture and
the practice of admitting evidence obtained under torture.
The Commission recommends that Article 140, 173, and 2.24(g) and
(f) of the Constitution be amended to bring them into line with the
provisions, inter alia, established at Articles 4, 7, and 8 of the
American Convention on Human Rights.
The Commission recommends ending solitary confinement for persons
declared to be guilty of terrorism and treason, as well as a review of
prison conditions generally, for this group of inmates.
The Commission recommends that the Peruvian State define the
conduct it wishes to criminalize as terrorism, detailing the specific
forms of conduct that may constitute terrorism, so as to not extend
legal incriminations by analogy, and to make it possible for the accused
to exercise the right to defense provided for in Article 8 of the
American Convention. The
definition of a type of criminal offense based on mere suspicion or
association shifts the burden of proof, violates the fundamental
presumption of innocence of the accused, and should be eliminated.
5. The Commission
considers that there have been major strides in the protection of human
rights in Peru, not only because of the major reduction in the type and
number of violations, but also in the creation of the post of Human
Rights Ombudsman, and the National Registry of Detainees.
As regards the Ad hoc Commission, which the Ombudsman chairs, the
Commission takes note of the Government's authentic purpose in respect
of reviewing the convictions of those who were unjustly convicted of
crimes of terrorism and treason and the release, to date, of 110
individuals who have been pardoned under this procedure.
The Commission recommends that any record of their convictions be
expurgated from their personal or police records.
The Commission recommends that the Peruvian State repeal the
amnesty law (Nº 26,479), and the law on judicial interpretation (Nº
26,492), because they are incompatible with the American Convention, and
investigate, try, and punish the state agents accused of human rights
violations, especially violations that amount to international crimes.
7. The Commission
recommends that the Peruvian authorities take measures to prevent
reprisals against human rights defenders and to protect witnesses and
lawyers for the victims in order to guarantee the right to justice and
effective legal protection.
The member states of the OAS have not given the Commission
jurisdiction to investigate terrorism and subversion, but rather
only acts attributable to States.
It is not the Commission's role to replace the State in
investigating and punishing violations committed by individuals
other than State agents or entities.
The fundamental reason for international bodies to protect
human rights, as in the case of the IACHR, lies in the need to have
means of recourse when human rights have been violated by state
agents or organs. This
doctrine of the Commission was first set forth in the Report on the
Situation of Human Rights in Argentina (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.49, doc. 19,
April 11, 1980) and reproduced in the Report on the Situation of
Human Rights in Colombia OEA/Ser.L/V/II.53, doc. 22, June 30, 1981).
In cases related to Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, the Commission
has held that as a matter of principle amnesty laws are incompatible
with the American Convention, because the Convention imposes on the
states the obligation to prevent, investigate, and punish all
violations of human rights guaranteed by the Convention, and because
an amnesty law tends to undercut the state's competence to carry out
this obligation. See
Report 28/92, Cases 10,147, 10,181, 10,240, 10,262, 10,309, and
10,311 (Argentina), Report 29/62, Cases 10,029, 10,036, 10,145,
10,305, 10,372, 10,373, 10,374, and 10,375 (Uruguay) in the Annual
Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1992-1993;
Report 34/96, Cases 11,228, 11,229, 11,231, and 11,282 (Chile);
Report 36/96, Case 10,843 (Chile), in the Annual Report of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 1996.
United Nations, Implementation of the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Initial reports
submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant,
Addendum, PERU, E/;1990/5/Add.29, 17 June 1996 at para. 150.
See Speech by the President of the Republic of Peru, Alberto
Fujimori, at the Protocolary Session of the Permanent Council of the
Organization of American States (February 3, 1997). "The OAS
understood fully that Peru was in an emergency situation [in
Peru, beginning in 1992, we began to dismantle terrorism.
Dismantle means, in this case, breaking the organization, its
structure, eliminating its overall capability, as an operational
unit, as an apparatus or machinery.
It cannot be denied that this has occurred."
According to the Government of Peru, "The capture of the
supreme head of the Sendero Luminoso movement together with a
great number of the leading cadres of the terrorist organization was
carried out on the basis of professional and clear-cut intelligence
work by the police forces in clear demonstration of how law and
order can checkmate the negative forces that wish to destroy the
country. From 12 September 1992 until the present day, progress in the
arrest and trial of terrorist has been made and the majority of the
leaders both of the Sendero Luminoso and of the Movimiento
Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) movements have been condemned
to life imprisonment, while the arduous task is continuing of
arresting and putting on trial those implicated in subversive
activities, as well as carrying out wide publicity for the law on
repentant terrorists, with good results."
United Nations, ICCPR, Third Periodical Reports of States
Parties due in 1993, Addendum, PERU, CCPR/C/83/Add.1,
March 21, 1995 at para. 180.
Article 140 of the new Peruvian Constitution:
"The death penalty may be applied only for the crime of
treason in the case of war and terrorism in accordance with the laws
and treaties to which Peru is a bound party."
The inevitable consequence of creating a system that presumes guilt
and almost completely rules out the possibility of defending oneself
is that a large number of innocent persons are convicted.
Since 1993, the National Coordinating Committee for Human
Rights has waged a campaign for the release of persons unjustly
detained, tried, and convicted.
No one can say precisely how many innocent people have been
convicted, or spent long months or years detained pending a
determination as to their legal status.
The Coordinadora reported that it had rendered legal
assistance to a total of 1,390 people unjustly accused since 1992,
of whom 607 were still in prison as of December 1995.
As the Coordinadora has emphasized, this figure reflects only
a small part of the total number of innocent persons convicted and
sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison, or given life sentences.
The first group of three was pardoned on October 1, 1996; the second
group of 28 was pardoned on October 4, 1996; the third group of 14
was pardoned on October 19, 1996; the fourth group of 17 was
pardoned on October 29, 1996; the fifth group of 12 was pardoned on
November 13, 1996; and the sixth group of 36 was pardoned on
December 7, 1996.
Of that total, 3,112 have been convicted of terrorism and 764 have
been convicted of treason. Of the first group, 1,274 requests were presented to have the
terrorism convictions reviewed, and 500 requests were presented to
have the treason convictions reviewed.
To date, 104 have been pardoned for crimes of terrorism and
six have been granted special executive pardon (derecho a gracia)
for treason. Of the
total 3,876 persons incarcerated, 3,372 are men and 504 are women;
of the 1,774 who have requested review, 1,420 are men and 354 are
women; and of the 110 who have been pardoned, 77 are men and 33 are