Annual Report: Peru 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Peru 2010

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Corporate accountability

In January, photographs were published relating to the ill-treatment of 29 people, and the killing of one man while in detention in 2005 following protests against a British mining project in the north-west of the country. The protesters alleged that they were tortured by police and the mine's security guards. In March 2009, the Public Prosecutor charged police officers with torture, but decided not to pursue either the mining company or its security guards. However, the victims brought an action against the company in the UK and in October a High Court injunction was issued against Monterrico Metals in the UK. The High Court ruling was pending at the end of the year.

In December, police shot dead two men and injured eight other villagers in Cajas-Canchaque, Carmen de la Frontera district, Huancabamba province. Police reportedly opened fire during an operation to arrest one of those suspected of involvement in an arson attack on a Rio Blanco Copper encampment on 1 November in which three mine employees were killed.

Maternal mortality

Some measures were taken to reduce maternal mortality, which remained high in rural areas and among Indigenous Peoples. In March a National Plan for the Reduction of Maternal Mortality was introduced which included measures to increase access to health facilities, including emergency obstetric care, and improve community participation. However, there were concerns about how this plan would link up with existing policies.

Sexual and reproductive rights

Steps were taken towards decriminalizing abortion in certain circumstances, including when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

In November, however, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the state could not distribute or sell oral emergency contraception. This ruling disadvantaged women on low incomes unable to afford this contraception, which remained available in chemists.

The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Lesbian, gay and transgender people continued to face discrimination and ill-treatment.

  • In January, Techi, a transgender woman, was kidnapped and tortured by members of a local neighbourhood watch patrol in the town of Tarapoto, San Martín province. The trial of three people accused of carrying out the attack on Techi was continuing at the end of the year.

Human rights defenders

Human rights defenders were threatened and intimidated. The authorities failed to send a clear message that such acts would not be tolerated or to ensure effective investigations into these threats. In September, an anonymous caller threatened to poison human rights defender and former president of the 2001 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Salomón Lerner Febres; his two guard dogs had been poisoned earlier that month.

  • In September, human rights defender Gisela Ortiz Perea was accused in a national newspaper of being a leading member of Shining Path in what appeared to be an attempt to intimidate her for her continued support to victims of human rights violations during the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).

Impunity

In April, former President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for grave human rights violations. However, impunity remained a concern. Scores of cases of reported killings by police officers were not investigated amid serious concerns that a 2007 decree law was being used to prevent investigations into alleged extra judicial executions. The decree law reformed the Penal Code and exempts from prosecution police officers who injure or kill suspects while on duty.

There was no progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2001 Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict (1980-2000).

Little progress was made regarding the 1,000 cases of past human rights violations filed with the Public Prosecutor's Office since 2003. The Ministry of Defence continued to withhold information on cases involving military personnel.