Peruvians Ask Inter-American Court to Prevent Impunity in Crimes Against Humanity

Relatives of victims of the Barrios Altos & Cantuta cases during the Inter-American Court hearing. Photo: X/ @Mataperrea

June 17, 2024 Hour: 1:49 pm

A pro-impunity bill is promoted by a caucus made up of far-right politicians and former military officers.

On Monday, the Ecumenical Foundation for Development and Peace (Fedepaz) and other social organizations requested that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights halt the proceedings of a bill concerning crimes against humanity and war crimes in Peru.


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“The initiative poses a risk to the victims’ right to justice… the Inter-American Court must adopt provisional measures ordering the Peruvian state to refrain from approving this bill or any similar regulation,” said Fedepaz spokesperson David Velazco.

The Inter-American Court held a virtual hearing where it listened to the parties. This bill, which still needs to pass a second legislative vote before being sent to the Executive, aims to prevent anyone from being prosecuted for crimes against humanity or war crimes that occurred before 2002.

Human rights defenders claim that this bill will hinder access to justice and truth for victims of human rights violations, particularly in the La Cantuta and Barrios Altos cases, which were already judged by the Inter-American Court with rulings against the Peruvian state.

The text reads, “There are many tears after the moving and dramatic words of Gisela Ortiz in the farewell of Bertila Lozano, Dora Oyague, Felipe Flores, Marcelino Flores and Armando Amaro, the Cantuta students murdered by Fujimori and the Colina Group 31 years ago.”

“If the bill comes into effect, it will allow individuals convicted or under investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity to evade justice,” said Gloria Cano, a spokesperson for the Peruvian Association for Human Rights (Aprodeh).

The Peruvian state, however, denied that the bill seeks to favor an amnesty. State agent Cesar Pastor described the request for provisional measures as “inappropriate” and assured that the bill has no direct relation to the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta cases. “The State does not understand the Inter-American Court’s jurisdiction nor the procedural legitimacy to adopt provisional measures,” he said.

This controversial bill is promoted by a caucus made up of far-right politicians and former military high-level officers. In 2009, former dictator Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, due to two massacres committed by the paramilitary group Colina in 1991 and 1992. Currently, he is still being prosecuted for another massacre attributed to Colina.

On June 13, the Inter-American Court ordered Peru to halt the proceedings of the bill until it issues a resolution on the matter, a measure that remains in effect.

Source: EFE

teleSUR/ JF

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