Fujimori Trial Seen As Crucial Step Toward Justice
Fujimori Trial in Peru Seen by Amnesty International as Crucial Step Toward Justice
(New York)--On the eve of the trial of former President Alberto Fujimori of Peru, Amnesty International said that the proceedings constitute a crucial step toward justice in Peru but warned that the country still has a long way to go.
Amnesty International said it hopes that the trial of the former president--set to open on Monday, December 10, Human Rights Day--will be impartial and that it will lead to new judicial investigations into widespread human rights violations.
Amnesty International said the Peruvian military and security forces committed widespread human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture, from 1980 to 2000 while engaged in the campaign against Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru). These armed groups also committed human rights abuses during the conflict.
"In order to end the cycle of human rights abuses justice must be done for past violations," said Renata Rendón, Advocacy Director for the Americas for Amnesty International USA. "Judicial authorities must make sure that those involved in the proceedings--survivors, relatives and lawyers--can participate in the process without fear of reprisals."
Alberto Fujimori is accused in the killings of 15 women, men and children in Barrios Altos, Lima, in 1991 and the torture, disappearance and murder of nine students and one teacher from La Cantuta University in 1992. These crimes were attributed to the "Colina" Group, a death squad set up in 1991 within the Army Intelligence Services. The establishment of this group is believed to have been part of a counter-insurgency strategy allegedly implemented by Fujimori. Fujimori is also accused of having ordered the kidnapping and torture of critics of his government at the headquarters of the Military Intelligence Service where he lived during 1992.
During Fujimori's ten-year presidency, Amnesty International documented hundreds of cases of disappearance and extrajudicial execution at the hands of the Peruvian security forces. During those ten years, torture and ill-treatment were also widely practiced by the security forces.