Annual Report: Peru 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Peru 2010

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Head of state and government Alan García Peréz
Death penalty abolitionist for ordinary crimes
Population 29.2 million
Life expectancy 73 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 38/27 per 1,000
Adult literacy 89.6 per cent

Thirty-three people were killed, including 23 police officers, and at least 200 protesters were injured when police dispersed a road blockade led by members of Indigenous communities. Indigenous leaders were intimidated and harassed. Human rights defenders continued to be threatened. Violations of women's sexual and reproductive rights remained a concern.

Background

Throughout the year, there was increasing social unrest and discontent over government policies, in particular in relation to extractive projects and legislation on the use of resources and land. This led to nationwide mobilizations and strikes that paralysed the country for weeks.

The armed opposition group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) remained active in some parts of the Andean region and there were reports of armed confrontations with the military and police.

Indigenous Peoples' rights

Thousands of Indigenous demonstrators staged a road blockade for more than 50 days in the Amazon region in protest against a series of decree laws, which, they argued, affected their fundamental right to land and resources and thus their livelihoods.

Excessive use of force and ill-treatment

On 5 June, 33 people, including 23 police officers, were killed and at least 200 protesters were injured as the police intervened to disperse the road blockade. Police used excessive force to disperse the crowd, injuring and killing bystanders. Protesters killed 11 police officers whom they were holding hostage, and another 12 during the police operation. The whereabouts of a police official who participated in the operation remained unknown at the end of the year. In the aftermath, scores of detainees reported ill-treatment by police.

Justice system

At least 18 people faced charges for disturbances during the protests and the killing and injuring of police officers, but little progress was made in bringing to justice members of the security forces responsible for human rights violations against protesters. In addition, six Indigenous leaders were charged with rebellion, sedition and conspiracy against the state, charges which appeared not to be based on reliable evidence.

Legal and institutional developments

Four working groups, which included representatives of Indigenous Peoples, were set up to investigate the violence that occurred on 5 June, review the decree laws which sparked the protests, issue recommendations for a mechanism for consultation with Indigenous Peoples, and propose a National Plan of Development in the Amazon. In December, the Commission set up by the working group investigating the 5 June clashes presented its report to the Ministry of Agriculture. However, two members of the Commission, including its president, refused to endorse the report on the grounds that the Commission lacked the necessary time and resources to conduct full investigations and that the report lacked impartiality.