Nº 9/89


The visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, begun last Monday, May 8, at the invitation of the Government of Peru, ends today.

The Special Committee was chaired by Mrs. Elsa Kelly, First Vice Chairman of the IACHR; the other members were Mr. John Stevenson, member of the IACHR, Mr. Edmundo Vargas Carreño, its Executive Secretary, Ms. Christina Cerna and Mr. Luis Jiménez, attorneys of the Secretariat, Mrs. Gabriela Hageman and Mrs. Nora Anderson.

During its stay the Committee held talks in Lima with the President of the Senate, Dr. Romualdo Biaggi Rodríguez; the President of the Supreme Court, Dr. Oscar Alfaro Alvarez; former President of the Republic Dr. Fernando Belaúnde Terry; Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice Drs. Guillermo Larco Cox and César Delgado; the Chairmen of the Committees on Human Rights of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies Drs. Javier Valle Riestra and Flavio Núñez Yzaga; and several parliamentarians; and with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces General Artemio Palomino Toledo; the Attorney General of the Nation Dr. Manuel Catacora González; the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference Monsignor Durán Flores; former Mayor of Lima and political leader Mr. Alfonso Barrantes; Rector of San Marcos University Dr. Jorge Campos Rey de Castro, and representatives of human rights organizations. It also heard the testimony of several persons in connection with specific situations and visited the Canto Grande prison.

The Committee also traveled to Ayacucho, where it met with General Héctor Rodríguez, Chief of the Ayacucho Political-Military Command; the Chief Prosecutor, Dr. Iván Enrique Tello Mondoñedo; the Provincial Prosecutor Dr. Gilberto Berrocal; Rector of San Cristóbal de Huamanga National University Dr. Alberto Morote Sánchez; Mr. Guy Mellet, Head of the Subdelegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ayacucho; the Deputy Mayor of Ayacucho, and other civilian, military, ecclesiastical and university officers, and with attorneys leaders of human rights organizations and other persons interested in the status of those rights.

The results of the observations made in these days of intense activity will be put before the Commission when it meets in plenary during its next session in September so that it may decide on the course to be taken.

Meanwhile, the Special Committee considers it necessary to share with Peruvian public opinion certain preliminary observations.

Firstly, the experience of this visit enables the Special Committee to reaffirm the importance for the observance of human rights of maintaining and strengthening the democratic form of Government.

The Special Committee must say that it is profoundly concerned at the persistence of recourse to terror and indiscriminate violence as instruments for the settlement of social and political conflicts, which certainly endangers consolidation of the democratic political system and prevents economic development, both of which are needed for the full observance of human rights.

Exacerbation of the conflict and of the violent methods chosen for settling it have lead to a worrisome situation that affects such fundamental rights as the rights to life and to humane treatment. The dynamic that has been unleashed threatens to lead to the gradual impairment of other rights. The Special Committee considers it essential to reverse the observed tendencies, to which task it summons all the country's political sectors and basic institutions. The Special Committee is constrained to express its conviction of the urgent necessity that the measures adopted to fight subversion take account of the human rights of the population that could become involved in them.

The Special Committee also feels it is imperative to put an end to the operations of the irregular groups that are sharpening and widening the violence, with terrible loss of human life and striking at the country's basic institutions. Neither the alleged struggle to eliminate poverty and build a new state nor the need to take justice into one's own hands can justify in any circumstances recourse to selective assassination, summary execution, the destruction of production infrastructure, torture, forced disappearance of persons, or the use of terror as an instrument of social control.

The Special Committee wishes to thank the peruvian Government and people for the working facilities provided and for the cooperation it enjoyed during its visit. It also hopes that the relations established may be strengthened and deepened in the near future for the sake of the ever greater observance of human rights, which is the solid base on which all social comity is founded.

Lima, May 12, 1989

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