Cablegate: Peru: Visitation of Extraditee Wilmer Yarleque


DE RUEHPE #0591/01 0952030
P 042030Z APR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 2007 STATE 167285
B. LIMA 071
C. 2007 LIMA 3852

1. (SBU) Summary: As directed in ref A, Post has visited
Peruvian extraditee Wilmer YARLEQUE Ordinola on multiple
occasions and confirmed that he is being treated in
accordance with Peru's international human rights
obligations. Moreover, the GOP has sought actively to
fulfill its commitments contained in the bilateral "side"
agreement that facilitated Yarleque's extradition. As per
the terms of that agreement, an International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) representative is set to visit Yarleque
approximately every 4 months during the remainder of his
incarceration; Embassy officers will also be able to visit
Yarleque at any time, as necessary. Given Peru's improved
human rights climate and the GOP's demonstrated commitment,
there is every reason to believe Yarleque's treatment will
continue to be consistent with Peru's obligations under the
Convention Against Torture (CAT). End Summary.

2. (SBU) To facilitate the extradition of Yarleque to Peru,
in the special side agreement embodied in an exchange of
diplomatic notes late last year, the GOP reaffirmed its
commitment to complying with international human rights norms
under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). It also agreed
that U.S. Embassy officers, or a mutually acceptable third
party representative, would be able to visit Yarleque
periodically in order to monitor his treatment for as long as
his incarceration in Peru lasted (refs). Poloffs have now
visited Yarleque on three separate occasions since his
extradition to Peru. Poloff met Yarleque on arrival in Peru
December 28, 2007. Poloffs then visited Yarleque at Lima's
Castro Castro prison on January 11 and again on March 10,
2008. On all three occasions, Yarleque appeared well and had
no substantive complaints about his treatment. (Note:
Yarleque mentioned that prison conditions, including sleeping
facilities, were uncomfortable. End Note.)

3. (SBU) On February 15 Pol/C and poloffs participated in a
meeting with 17 officials from various GOP agencies and
offices, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry
of Justice, Public Ministry (a rough equivalent of the U.S.
Attorney General), National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) and
Peruvian National Police to explore the terms of the
"permanent" visitation regime. The GOP team was headed by
Ambassador Bertha Vega Perez, Director General for Legal
Affairs in the MFA. Ambassador Vega reaffirmed Peru's
commitment to protecting the fundamental human rights of
Yarleque and all other prisoners and underscored the GOP's
intention to fulfill its international human rights
obligations in this and every respect. Noting that the side
agreement to secure Yarleque's extradition fell outside the
formal parameters of our bilateral extradition treaty, she
said it had not ultimately posed a problem because the GOP
could guarantee in good faith and without hesitation that
Yarleque's treatment would meet Peru's obligations under the

4. (SBU) Pol/C noted that the special agreement responded to
a formal need to facilitate an extradition we agreed should
proceed rather than to a substantive doubt about Yarleque's
future treatment. In fact, the USG's willingness to
extradite him reflected our conviction that Yarleque's was
extremely unlikely to be tortured in Peru. Other
participating GOP representatives echoed Ambassador Vega's
assurances, and several proactively sought ways to facilitate
the terms of visitation. Public Ministry representative,
Secilia Hinojosa Cuba , said she would offer the Public
Ministry's services in monitoring Yarleque's treatment, if
that would be helpful. The GOP representatives were
unanimous in assuring us that, because Yarleque would be
treated according to existing laws and treaties, arranging
for visits by U.S. Embassy officials or appropriate third
party representatives aimed at monitoring his treatment posed
no problem whatever. Several GOP officials noted that the
ICRC was accredited to perform such a function and would have
the government's full support in doing so. They said that
U.S. Embassy officials would also have access to Yarleque at
any time, subject only to prior coordination. The general
atmosphere was one of cooperation toward a shared purpose:
ensuring humane treatment for prisoners and preserving the
viability of our bilateral extradition treaty.

5. (SBU) Prior to the multi-agency meeting, Embassy human
rights officer met with ICRC representatives to explore the
possibility of that organization's assuming primary
responsibility for visiting Yarleque over the long term.
Following the meeting, we met again with the ICRC
representatives, who said they would have included Yarleque
on their registry as a matter of course even without the
USG's request (the ICRC visits all prisoners associated, on
either side, with Peru's terrorist insurgency), and were
committed to visiting him approximately every four months.
ICRC representatives agreed with us and our GOP counterparts
that Yarleque faced no credible prospect of being tortured
while incarcerated in Peru. They further explained that, in
the unlikely event there was an issue or suspicion to report,
the concern would be communicated in accordance with the
organization's established privacy guidelines. That is, the
ICRC would contact the Defensoria del Pueblo (or Human Rights
Ombudsman, an autonomous constitutional body charged with
overseeing the state's human rights practices), which, in
turn, would deliver the message to Embassy officers. (Note:
Embassy has long maintained a close professional relationship
with the Defensora del Pueblo's office. End Note.) When
poloffs explained the ICRC plan during the March 10 visit,
Yarleque said he understood and was amenable.

6. (SBU) Peru's human rights situation has improved markedly
since terrorism was contained in the 1990s and the Fujimori
era ended in 2000. In that sense, earlier references to
torture in the Department's annual Human Rights report
reflected past realities while increasingly misrepresenting
the evolving truth. This misrepresentation has since been
corrected. According to the Department's 2007 Human Rights
Report, "There were no credible reports of torture during the
year." Given this fact, the high-profile nature of the
case, and the government's manifest commitment to meetings
its human rights obligations in this connection, allowing the
ICRC take the lead on visiting Yarleque over the long term,
while leaving open the option of a U.S. Embassy officer
visiting at any time, as necessary, is a win-win solution.

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