Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2008 - Peru

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 28 May 2008
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2008 - Peru, 28 May 2008, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Head of state and government: Alan Garcia Peréz
Death penalty: abolitionist for ordinary crimes
Population: 28.8 million
Life expectancy: 70.7 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 50/41 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 87.9 per cent

Important steps were taken to bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations during the years of armed conflict (1980-2000). Environmentalists and community leaders campaigning against mining projects continued to be at risk of harassment and attack. Women living in poor marginalized communities continued to face discrimination in accessing maternal health services.


A bill on international co-operation which would have placed NGOs under closer state scrutiny was ruled unconstitutional.

In January Congress rejected a bill to modify the use of the death penalty in terrorism-related cases. Two other bills on the death penalty remained pending before Congress at the end of the year.

Teachers, health professionals and miners went on a series of strikes throughout the year to protest against government economic and labour policies.

In August, a set of legislative decrees to combat organized crime was issued. There were concerns that the decrees could be used to criminalize legitimate social protest.

Small groups of members of the armed opposition group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) continued to operate in some areas. Peasant farmers in Ayacucho Department continued to be falsely charged with terrorism-related offences for alleged involvement in attacks carried out by Shining Path.

Impunity – justice for past violations

Former President Alberto Fujimori was extradited to Peru from Chile in September. He faced charges including the killing of 15 people in 1991 and the enforced disappearance and killing of nine students and a professor in 1992. His trial was continuing at the end of the year.

An effective programme for protecting those who survived human rights abuses during the 20-year armed conflict, their relatives as well as witnesses and lawyers had not been implemented by the end of the year.

Progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission remained limited. In August, the Human Rights Ombudswoman highlighted that only one new case had been opened during the first six months of the year and that 28 out of the 47 cases filed before the Public Ministry by the Commission remained pending.

The National Council for Reparations, established in 2006 to oversee reparations to victims of human rights abuses documented by the Commission, began its work. By the end of the year it had registered cases in more than 800 communities.

In November, the Supreme Court of Justice ruled that those responsible for the crime of enforced disappearance include not only those who carry out the killing and hide the body, but also those in the chain of command. In its ruling the Supreme Court confirmed the sentences of two military officers for the 1991 enforced disappearance of four people in Ayacucho Department.

  • The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in July that the state was responsible for the killing of Saúl Cantoral Huamaní and Consuelo Trinidad García Santa Cruz in February 1989 by members of the military.

Prison conditions

Challapalca Prison, which is situated over 4,600m above sea level, reopened in October. Twenty-four prisoners were immediately transferred there. The prison had been closed in 2005 following national and international pressure, including recommendations by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, that it be closed because its inaccessibility seriously limits prisoners' rights to maintain contact with the outside world, including with relatives, lawyers and doctors.

Health – maternal health in rural areas

In April, the government stated that it was taking steps to ensure that women would no longer be fined for failing to attend antenatal appointments and that certificates of live birth issued by health centres would not be withheld from those who gave birth at home.

A report issued by the Ombudswoman's Office in May highlighted the continuing economic and geographic barriers faced by women in rural areas in accessing health care, the lack of accessible information on health services and the absence of culturally appropriate health provision.

In February the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Peru ensure all women were provided with identity documents, including birth certificates, and in particular that it ensure women from rural, Indigenous and minority communities had full access to justice, education and health services.

Human rights defenders – mining projects

  • Human rights defender Javier Rodolfo Jahncke Benavente received death threats in March, apparently because of his work in Piura Province with the Muqui network which works to ensure that communities have access to information about projected mining activities and to a transparent and fair consultation process before any such activities are carried out.
  • In August the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested that protective measures, including medical diagnoses and treatment, be provided to 65 people from the town of La Oroya, Yauli Province, in the region of Junín, following decades of mining.

Amnesty International visit

  • An Amnesty International delegate visited Peru in November to research issues surrounding the trial of former President Alberto Fujimori.
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