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Peru/Chile: Fujimori facing justice

Peru/Chile: Fujimori facing justice. The victims’ right

A report published today by Amnesty International provides information on a number of the human rights violations of which former head of state, Alberto Fujimori, is being accused by the Peruvian State. These include first-degree murder (homicidio calificado) and forced disappearance. Fujimori is currently being held in Chile.

The report, published in the context of Amnesty International’s latest campaign to ensure that the crimes committed during Fujimori’s term in office do not go unpunished, includes details of the massacre of 15 women, men and children in Barrios Altos, Lima, in 1991 and the forced disappearance and murder of nine students and a lecturer from La Cantuta University in 1992.

“The Chilean State has a legal and moral responsibility to investigate the 20 accusations of human rights violations made against Fujimori and to smooth the way towards bringing the former head of state to justice, either in Peru or in Chile,” Amnesty International said today.

Many of the cases were attributed to the “Grupo Colina”, a paramilitary group established in 1992 within the National Intelligence Service and under the control of Vladimiro Montesinos, presidential advisor on “intelligence” issues and a close confidante of the then President, Alberto Fujimori.

Fifty-seven people linked to the “Grupo Colina”, including Montesinos, are currently being tried in Peru for crimes of criminal association, aggravated kidnapping, first-degree murder and forced disappearance in relation to the cases of La Cantuta, Barrios Altos, the kidnapping and murder of nine inhabitants of El Santa, Ancash, in 1992, and the disappearance and murder of the journalist, Pedro Yauri Bustamante, in Huacho, Lima in 1992.

In September 2005, three people accused of belonging to the “Grupo Colina” admitted to having been involved in the crimes of which they were accused and acknowledged that they were guilty of the charges against them.

“The statements of the ex-members of the “Grupo Colina” not only confirm the existence of the paramilitary group but also its links with the Intelligence Service and with Alberto Fujimori,” explained Amnesty International.

“The human rights violations committed in Peru under the Fujimori government were systematic; impunity was legalised. The generalized and systematic nature of these violations makes them crimes against humanity, in other words, crimes that are an insult to all humanity, to all of us.”

“All states, Chile included, have an obligation to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute and punish those responsible for committing - or ordering others to commit - crimes against humanity and to collaborate in catching, arresting, extraditing and punishing them.”

Background information
Alberto Fujimori was arrested on 7 November 2005 in Chile at the request of the Peruvian State, and a request for his extradition will be presented over the coming weeks.

Orlando Álvarez, minister of the Supreme Court in Chile, issued a warrant for the provisional arrest of the former head of state for crimes of criminal association, theft of public funds, falsification of documents, first-degree murder, serious injury and forced disappearance in relation to the Barrios Altos massacre and the murders and disappearances at La Cantuta.

Under the 1932 Extradition Treaty between Chile and Peru, the Peruvian State has sixty days in which to formally request an extradition from the Chilean authorities. The decision will be taken by the Supreme Court of Chile. This case will be dealt with by Supreme Court Judge Orlando Álvarez.

From 1980 onwards, serious human rights violations were committed by Sendero Luminoso, the main armed opposition group, and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Leaders and members of both groups are currently serving sentences for the atrocities they committed.

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