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Cablegate: Ambassador and Diplomatic Corps Show Public

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LIMA 004567

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KDEM PE
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR AND DIPLOMATIC CORPS SHOW PUBLIC
SUPPORT FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

REF: LIMA 446

1. Summary: The Ambassador hosted a luncheon and press event
with members of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(CVR) and the Diplomatic Corps. Members of the CVR,
including Chairman Salomon Lerner, have received an
increasing number of death threats, which they believe are
linked to criminal proceedings against military officers that
are based on CVR findings. The Ambassador's event emphasized
the international community's support for the CVR and brought
the diplomatic community together around this issue. End
Summary.

2. The Ambassador hosted a luncheon and press event on 10/19
for members of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(CVR): Salomon Lerner Febres, Monsignor Jose Antunez de
Mayolo, Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, Gaston Garatea Yori,
Alberto Morote Sanchez, Carlos Tapia Garcia, Beatriz Alva
Hart, and Sofia Macher Batanero. The Ambassadors of the
United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, the Netherlands,
and Belgium, and the deputy representative of the United
Nations Development Program also attended.

3. The Ambassador congratulated the CVR on its landmark work
and expressed concern over recent press accounts of death
threats made against Lerner. Lerner thanked the Ambassador
and said that in recent months, as a group of military
officials have been brought up on charges, there has been an
increase in threats made to members of the CVR including
himself. He said some of the threats were anti-Semitic and
targeted his Jewish ancestry (Lerner is a Catholic and dean
of the Catholic University). Lerner and other CVR members
said they were more concerned about the safety of the many
witnesses that came forward than they were about themselves.
They said critics were trying to undermine the credibility of
the CVR by questioning the veracity of its findings. (Note:
The CVR formally went out of existence in 2003, though
initiatives inspired by its work continue under the direction
of the Ombudsman, the UNDP, and other civil society actors.
End Note.)

4. The CVR members defended the CVR process and told the
Ambassador and the assembled group that the process was
balanced and looked at all those involved in human rights
violations, independent of political stripe or institutional
identity. They noted some segments of the Peruvian military
were cooperative while others were reluctant. Macher cited
as a positive development a request by the military to set
aside a special prison facility in Chorillos that could
accommodate accused military, as well as others. The CVR
members said that their primary criticism was of Sendero
Luminoso as the instigator of the conflict and the principal
violator of human rights.

5. The CVR members said a high profile statement by
President Toledo reiterating his support for the CVR process
could help to reduce threats to their security. Police
protection was previously proposed by the GOP but never
became a reality. Some CVR members expressed concern about
police protection because it could lead to greater
surveillance.

6. Comment: The Ambassador's objective with the luncheon and
press event was to show that the international community is
concerned about the threats to the CVR members and continues
to strongly support the work done by the CVR. Media coverage
of the event was positive. End Comment.
STRUBLE

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