At its 83rd session, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights approved a Special Report that describes the human rights situation in Peru since April 5, 1992.  The report, provisionally approved in October 1992, was sent to the Government of Peru in November of that year for any observations it deemed necessary.  Since that provisional report was sent, there have been new developments in the human rights situation that the Commission believes should be presented in this section.


          In relation to the right to a fair trial, to due process of law and judicial guarantees, the Commission has received extensive information on the reservations that individuals and agencies charged with protecting human rights have expressed in regard to the new anti-terrorist laws.  It has been said that in the summary trials of persons charged with being members of the Peruvian Communist Party (Shining Path) the rights of the accused have not been respected.  Their right to defend themselves has been particularly impaired as their defense attorneys are given little time to acquaint themselves with the charges, confer with their clients and prepare their arguments.  Some prisoners were placed under military jurisdictions far from their places of residence.  There is the case of Miguel Fernando Ruíz-Conejo Márquez (case 11087) who, according to the petition, was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Manco Capac Garrison at Puno, two days before his defense attorney in Lima received notification of the trial date.  Later, on appeal, the Military Tribunal changed the sentence to thirty years' imprisonment.


          It has been reported to the Commission that two members of the Democratic Lawyers Association, Dr. Alfredo Crespo and Dr. Jorge Cartagena--the former the defense attorney for Abimael Guzmán and the latter the defense attorney for Osmán Morote and Marta Huatay--,were arrested in Lima on January 11, 1993, brought before a military court charged with collaborating with terrorists and convicted in a summary proceeding to thirty years' imprisonment.  The petitions received point out that the right to self defense has been violated and the trials of the two lawyers were not conducted in accordance with the principles of due process of law to which they are entitled  and that the convictions set a very serious precedent for attorneys serving as defense counsel for individuals accused of terrorism, especially when one considers that the specific charges against Dr. Crespo and Dr. Cartagena, the evidence and the procedure used to weigh that evidence were not made public.


          The Commission has also received serious complaints concerning the legal proceedings in the case of the 13 officers detained on November 13, 1992, on charges of preparing a military movement to restore the constitutional order that they believe was abolished on April 5, 1992.  According to information the Commission has received, the detainees Division General Jaime Salinas Sedó and José Pastor Vives; Brigade Generals Luis Soriano Morgan, Ernesto Obando Salas and Manuel Obando Salas; Colonels Jorge Noblecilla and César Martínez; Commanders Enrique Aguilar del Alcazar, Arturo Moreno Alcántara and Marco Zárate Rotta, and Majors César Cáceres Haro, Hugo Ormeño and Salvador Carmona, have been placed under military jurisdiction.  The prosecutor has asked for fifteen years' imprisonment and that each be required to pay three million dollars in damages.  The final sentences ranged from three months to eight years imprisonment.  Some were also ordered to pay pecuniary damages on the order of two thousand dollars.


          Again in reference to due process, it was pointed out that the courts that tried the 13 officers were not impartial, that the charges against them do not constitute crimes under the Constitution of Peru, and that in at least four cases the evidence in the trials was based on confessions gotten by means of torture.  The individuals in question state that they were tortured at the National Intelligence Service and that someone with that service, retired captain Vladimiro Montesinos, participated directly.  It has also been said that the defense attorneys have been subject to various forms of pressure, which forced Dr. Alberto Borea Odría, the defense attorney for General Salinas Sedó and President of the dissolved Senate, to take asylum in the Costa Rican Embassy and then to leave Peru.


          It should be pointed out that the majority bloc in the Constitutional Congress voted against any possibility of amnesty for the then accused military men.  This position was at variance with President Fujimori's earlier position, who had declared that the way was now clear for a swift presidential pardon for anyone whom he might choose to pardon.


          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received extensive information indicating that freedom of expression has been curtailed in a variety of ways since April 5, 1992.  In general, there is some degree of uncertainty because of the legal and institutional changes that have been made and that affect other rights, as discussed earlier.  Because the judiciary is subject to the dictates of the executive branch, some of the media that have been critical of the Government have had legal action taken against them that has adversely affected exercise of freedom of expression.


          The most notable case reported is that of the director of the prestigious weekly Caretas, Enrique Zileri.  On August 3, 1992, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court ordered that he pay ten thousand dollars in damages for what the Chamber considered to be defamation of National Intelligence Service official Vladimiro Montesinos.  Measures were ordered that restricted Mr. Zileri's rights.  By court order, he can no longer travel abroad because he is required to appear before the court each month "to report and explain his actions."  It was reported that Mr. Montesinos has twice asked the court "to reverse the suspension of the sentence given to the convicted and carry out the sentence by ordering his incarceration in a prison."  The judge has since ordered the weekly Caretas to refrain from mentioning the name of Mr. Montesinos.  It was pointed out that the members of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court who convicted Zileri were all appointed since April 5.  It is said that a situation of such consequence for freedom of expression in Peru as Mr. Zileri's imprisonment would be, has happened because the judiciary is answerable to the dictates of the executive branch.


          Also during this period covered by this report, a police investigation has been conducted of journalist Ricardo Uceda, director of the weekly , at the request of Defense Minister General Víctor Malca.  The police investigation was requested because of a report that the weekly published in connection with the killing of 15 people in a Lima neighborhood called Barrios Altos, on November 6, 1991.  Recent reports made public in Lima linked the State's intelligence services with these killings and mentioned that the weekly had published the news.  The prosecutor who was investigating the killings was transferred and then separated from service on April 5, 1992.


          Also in connection with freedom of expression, journalist Magno Sosa, a correspondent with the newspaper La República, was arbitrarily arrested on September 5, 1992, charged with being a member of the Peruvian Communist Party (Shining Path).  Though there was no evidence against him, journalist Sosa remained in prison, along with others accused of being terrorists, until February 1, 1993.  His personal safety was seriously imperiled.


          On June 23, 1992, radio journalist Pedro Yauri Bustamante was arrested in Huaura, north of Lima.  According to reports, the arrest was made by individuals who identified themselves as members of DINCOTE, a special anti-terrorist unit with the Police.  Neither the Technical Police nor the National Police would accept the complaint filed by the victim's father and the court denied the petition of habeas corpus filed on his behalf.  Pedro Yauri Bustamante is still disappeared.


          As for political violence caused by irregular armed groups, the Commission has received information on the actions described below, which are attributed to the Peruvian Communist Party (Shining Path).  Those actions are grave violations of principles and norms of international humanitarian law and transgress individual rights protected under the American Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:


-        The murder of Italian lay missionary Guiglio Rocca Oriana, October 1, 1992, in Jangas, department of Ancash.


-        The massacre in the village of Huayo, department of Ayacucho, on October 10, 1991, in which 44 persons (18 women, 12 children and 14 men) were killed.  According to news reports, Huayo was allegedly attacked merely for having formed civilian defense units.


-        On October 8, a Shining Path column entered the town of Palca, in Puno, and killed five town officials, including its Mayor, Esteban Vilca Mamani, the clerk of the Mayor's Council, Felipe Santiago Mamani, Governor Reynaldo Valentín Mamani, and two other town councilmen; they also seriously wounded Professor Félix Carrión Coyla.


-        The day before, October 7, members of the Shining Path allegedly killed Bernardina Maldonado Quispe, coordinator of the "Glass of Milk" program in El Agustino, department of Lima.


-        On February 3, 1993, Shining Path is alleged to have killed a number of people, among them the Mayor-elect Oscar Sanches and Governor Esteban Calderón, in the town of Palcamayo, department of Junín.


-        It was also reported that in the course of the municipal election campaigns, twelve candidates--some for the office of mayor, others for town councilman--were allegedly assassinated by the Peruvian Communist Party-Shining Path.


          As for political rights, since April 5, 1992, the right to vote has been exercised on two occasions in Peru:  the first time was November 22, 1992, when elections were held to elect the members of the so-called Democratic Constitutional Congress; the second time was January 23, 1993, when municipal elections were held.


          The elections on November 22 were observed by personnel under the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, pursuant to decisions adopted by the ad hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.  None of Peru's traditional political parties participated in these elections. According to reports received by the Commission, their nonparticipation was due to the fact that there was no possibility of any meaningful election campaign since the dialogue between the Administration and the parties represented in the dissolved Congress, originally requested by the ad hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, never materialized.  According to some of Peru's principal political leaders, without that genuine dialogue, there was no way to establish a method and a procedure that would give the elections all the properties of an authentically democratic process.  They also noted that all officials on the Electoral Council were appointed without conferring with the parties and that the parties and major political leaders were the target of attacks, hardly conditions conducive to democratic elections.  The present Congress has legislative and constitutional authorities and the majority is controlled by the Cambio 90 and the Nueva Mayoría alliance, both of which support President Fujimori.


          As mentioned earlier, the municipal elections held on January 23, 1993, were preceded by another wave of terrorist attacks that left twelve candidates for mayor and town councilman dead.  These elections were also monitored by personnel under the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, pursuant to decisions adopted earlier by the ad hoc Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs that closed on December 14, 1992.


          According to reports, the votes were very scattered in these elections because there were so many candidates running for office.  The traditional and newly established parties received a much smaller share of the votes cast than in the past.  The Cambio 90 party carried only one of the 1800 mayoral positions, running a candidate who had previously belonged to one of the traditional parties.  The incumbent mayor of Lima, who is a political independent, was reelected.


          The exercise of political rights in Peru has, therefore, been affected by the profound changes at work in that member State.  Some of those changes are very much a function of terrorist activity, while others are an attempt to reestablish the basic postulates of the system of representative democracy, combining them so that they are responsive to the economic, social and cultural rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, and respect for the basic rights recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights.


          The Commission has noted with satisfaction the "Agreement on Procedure for the conduct of visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross to Peruvian Detention Centers," adopted on March 4 of this year in Peru by the President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Relations and the President of the ICRC.


          On March 10, 1993 the Peruvian Government extended an invitation to the Commission to conduct an on-site visit to Peru, preferably during the last half of April.  The Commission accepted the invitation and will soon fix the date and program for this visit.



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