Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1992

Twelve years of democratic government in Peru were interrupted on April 5, 1992,
when President Fujimori dissolved Congress, reoreanized the judiciary, and suspended
portions of the 1979 Constitution. Supported by the military and the majority
of public opinion, the President said the old political system was incapable of
fighting terrorism, corruption, and economic decay. Following international condemnation
of his actions at a special Meeting of the Foreign Mnisters of the Organization
of American States (OAS) on May 18, President Fujimori agreed to hold
elections for a Constituent Congress, which took place on November 22. The Constituent
Congress will legislate until July 1995 and draft a new constitution. Although
the two largest political parties boycotted the elections, observers, including
those from the OAS, found them to have been conducted fairly. A return to democratic
institutions, however, wiU depend upon the degree of autonomy of the new
Congress and the judiciaiy, as well as the conduct of the 1993 municipal elections
and the entry into force of a new constitution. An attempted coup in November furtiier
underscored the need for a return to full democracy.
The judicial system, which had suffered from corruption and political influence,
was placed un^r executive branch control after April 5. Ruling by decree law.
President Fujimori made major changes in judicial and prosecutorial procedures and
personnel. Numerous judges and prosecutors were fired for corruption in an effort
to address deficiencies in the civUian courts. New decree laws denned most terrorism
cases as treason" to be tried in military courts. This led to concern that the
military courts, whidi so far have an almost 100 percent conviction rate under the
new rules, will not try defendants fairly. Other laws restrict the actions of defense
attorneys in terrorism trials and increase penalties for terrorism. Prosecutions of alleged
government abuses made little signincant progress during 1992.
Pubuc security responsibilities are shared by the police and the militaiy. According
to the U.S. Aims Control and Disarmament Agency, total military expenditures
for 1989 were approximately $500 million. There are no plans to reduce current
military expenditures in the near fiiture. The military and the police continued to
share counterterrorism duties in Lima; in the countryside, the military takes the
lead in areas under a state of emergency. Emei^ency zone status continued to provide
for the suspension of c:ertain constitutional guarantees; currently 48 percent of
Peru's 22 mUhon people live in sucii areas, including the 8 million residents of
Lima. A vast majority of Peruvians consider the terrorist activities of the Sendero
Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist guerrillas to be the country's major threat. Both
the police and military continued to be respc>nsible for human rights abuses in 1992.
Peru has a mixed ec»nomy whic^ c»niDines free market capitalism with state
ownership of some major industries. Minerals extraction and prcx^essing account for
half of the foreign exchange earnings. President Fujimori's administration pursued
a rigorous ecx>nomic stabilization and structural adjustment program in an attempt
to reverse decades of economic decline. An important step in this program was the
privatization of state-owned firms. Recession c»ntinues, however, and it is estimated
that at least one third of Peruvians live in critical poverty.
The c^hief sources of human rights violations in Peru remained the terrorist acrtivities
of the Sendero Luminoso and, to a lesser degree, the excesses of the secnirity
services. Sendero abuses included assassinations of perceived opponents or the
merely uncxmperative, boxa government leaders and other officials to religious workers
and peasants. Sendero, lacking popular support, makes terror against civilians
an integral part of its strategy. In the countryside, Sendero killed members of rural
self-defense forces (rondas), community leaders, and political party members. On October
10, Sendero killed 48 peasants in the Ayacucho village of Huayllao; it was the
largest single massacre by guerrillas in the last 8 years. To create a power vacnium
in which it could grow in Lima, Sendero murdered sc»res of grassroots leaders during
1992, including Maria Elena Moyano, who advocated peaceful opposition to
Sendero. She was shot dead and her bodv blown to pieces by dynamite in front of
her children on February 15. Sendero's other weapon in Lima was the use of powerful
car bombs in populated areas.
Peru's respected, independent National Coordinating Committee for Human
Rights (CcMrdinadora) reported that Sendero was responsible for 654 assassinations
as of November 1992. On September 12 counterterrorism police captured Sendero
chief Abimael Guzman and other top Sendero leaders. They were found guilty in
military trials and sentenced to life imprisonment. This was a considerable blow to
Sendero, althou£^ the organization remained a serious threat to Peruvian institutions,
and Sendero bombings and abuses continued. Other police and milit^y actions
in 1992 severely hurt the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).
Both Sendero and MRTA continued to vie for control of parts of Peru's major cocagrowing
region, the Upper Huallaga vaUey.
In 1992 there continued to be credible reports of summary executions, disappearances,
arbitrary detentions, torture, and rape by the militaiy and police. Most of
these abuses occurred in rural emergency zones. Particnilarly in the Huancayo area,
the military and police appear to have selectively kidnaped and killed dozens of persons
alleged to be members of Sendero Luminoso. Few abuses are fully investigated,
and prosecnition of secnirity force members is rare. Statistics from the Coordinadora
and the Public Ministry (an autonomous office of the Attorney General) confirmed
that the number of disappearances and extrajudicial killings by the secnirity forces
remained roughly the same as in 1991. Members of the security forces, rondas, and
f)aramilitary groups possibly connected to element» within the Government were beieved
responsible for 95 extrajudicial killings. President Fujimori continued in 1992
to stress publiclv the need to improve respect for human rights, including by the
security forces. However, he continued to criticize strongly local and international
human rights groups as apologists for terrorists. There were credible reports that
the Government used the courts on several occasions to intimidate political opponents
and human rights activists.
Military and police investigations into human rights violations committed by their
own members were sporadic and rarely resulted m effective criminal prosecutions.
While security forces claimed that there were significant numbers of dismissals for
various types of abuses, these were diflicult to verify since military practice is to
seal the relevant records.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from
      a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing.
^The Coordinadora estimated that
Sendero Luminoso committed 654 political assassinations through November 1992;
the MRTA 15; and unidentified subversives 54. The security forces were responsible
for 81 extrajudicial killings throu^ November 1992; paramilitary groups for 10; and
peasant rondas, often associated with the military, for 4. The deaths of 170 persons
were classified as "not clarified." Due to the isolation of many rural areas where
Sendero is most active, the number of victims is probably underreported.
According to the dissolved Congress' Commission on Pacification, 2,830 people, including
combatants and civilians, were killed in overall terrorist-related violence between
January and November 1992. This figure includes 1,040 terrorists and 427
soldiers and police. Armed clashes with government forces accounted for the bulk
of casualties among terrorists. It is often difficult to distinguish combat-related
deaths from extrajudicial killings, which makes charges of human rights abuse difficult
to verify.
Of the reported 81 extrajudicial killings attributed by the Coordinadora to police
and military forces as of November 1992, the majority occurred in emergency zones.
For example, between Au^st and October, armed and masked persons abducted 30
students from the Peruvian Central University in Huancayo. Eleven were found
dead bearing bums and signs of electric shocks. Human rights monitors blame the
military for these deaths. In San Martin, Eric Rojas Llanca, 16, and Rafael Navarro
Pisango, 20, were detained by the armed forces on June 21. On June 22, their bodies,
bearing siffns of torture, were found in a nearby river. The number of
extrajudicicQ kiUings was likely underreported, given widespread distrust of the
State by the community at large and the dysfunctional Peruvian justice system.
The security forces have generally been unable or unwilling to investigate and
Krosecute cases in which their own members are implicated. The Peruvian C&da of
lilitary Justice contains no provision for dealing with cases of killing, kidnaping,
or torture, only "negligence" and "abuse of authority." Although the current Code
allows military courts to use relevant portions of the Civilian Penal Code to try
crimes not covered under the Military Code, this is rarely done. The military has
repeatedly used its court system to preempt civilian investigation and prosecution
of cases mvolving military abuses; under the law, persons tried under a military
court cannot subsequently be tried in civilian courts for the same offense.
In September 1991, the Government authorized access by the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC) to ^1 military detention facilities to verify the presence
and welfare of detainees. This access continued until September 1992, when
the Government informed the ICRC that new laws restricted previously agreed-upon
ICRC access to civilian prisons. The ICRC halted its prison visits in September out
continued to visit police and military instfdlations. At year's end, the ICRC and the
Government were working to resolve the problem.
In 1992 the ICRC registered over 2,200 new security detainees at various places
of detention throughout the country. The ICRC visited some 130 police stations, including
the counter-terrorism police offices in Lima, and recistered over 1,100 new
detainees, of whom over 300 were later released by the authorities after investigation.
Over 135 military facilities were visited and about 120 new detainees were registered,
of whom approximately 40 were released after investigation.
During May 4-9, the national police stormed Lima's Canto Grande maximuni security
prison, which housed the majority of the country's convicted terrorists.
Sendero and MRTA inmates had gained control of their respective cell blocks, and
Sendero propaganda proclaimed the prisons to be "shining trenches of combat" that
Sendero used as training centers for its cadre. Police initially showed restraint, despite
the deaths of two policemen, one of whom was reportedly killed with acid.
After a final police assault, official and unofficial casualty reports indicated that at
least 36 inmates had been killed. There are credible reports that the police delib474
erately killed four Sendero leaders, and peiiiaps others, ailer effective control of the
firison was reestablished. After the assault, numan ri^ts organizations and the
CRC were denied access to the prison.
Human ri^ts groups maintain that an unknown number of captured terrorists
and innocent civuians were sunmiarily executed by the military in 1992. These
claims are diflicult or impossible to verify due to difliculties in obtaining information
or traveUngto many of these areas.
In 1992 President Fujimori pointed to the rondas as a fundamental part of his
antisubversive strategy against Sendero Luminoso. Some rondas are organized and
equipped by the Government and the military. Many, however, emerge and operate
with Uttle government encouragement; they are often the only defense a community
has against terrorists. The rondas have demonstrated some effectiveness in deterring
bandits and terrorists, as well as serving other functions such as basic community
self-help woik. Reports indicated, however, that some rondas were involved in
numerous human ri^ts abuses, including the torture and extrajudicial killing of
suspected terrorists.
No progress was reported in the investigation into the November 3, 1991, massacre
of 17 persons in Hoe Barrios Altos neighborhood of Lima. Despite strong indications
that the authors of this massacre may have been linked to the security
forces, the Government publicly insisted the assailants could have been common
criminals, and the investigation stalled. An article based on supposed army sources
that claimed a special intelligence service unit carried out the Killings, with apparent
government approval, was not investigated. Instead, the Government sued the
journalist for libel.
There was little progress in the Santa Barbara (Huancavelica department) case
where an army ofRcer and five noncommissioned officers were charged in the July
4, 1991, deaths of 14 peasants whose bodies were found in an abandoned mine. The
trial of 14 cashiered police personnel implicated in the June 23, 1991, deaths of a
medical student and two teenaged brothers in Callao entered its last legal stages
and is expected to be concluded in early 1993. The investigating prosecutor in the
March 15 letter bomb attack on human rights lawyer Dr. Augusto Zuniga Paz suspended
action on the case April 27 pending further evidence. Dr. Zuniga's representatives
were reportedly unaware of^this until September and filed another suit in
this case. As in 1991, military officials asserted tnat a number of enlisted men and
officers were prosecuted in the military justice system on charges relating to human
rights violations. However, such assertions were difficult to confirm because, as a
matter of practice, the militaiy courts sealed relevant records. Neither the identities
of these individuals, the nature of their offenses, nor the exact sentences imposed
were made public.
Sendero Luminoso continued to assassinate teachers, clergy, engineers, development
and human rights workers, political activists, and pubuc servants, as well as
meniers of the security forces. In 1992 Sendero stepped up violent political activitv
in urban centers, with particular emphasis on Lima's surrounding slum areas, killing
over 145 grassroots leaders. A number of these killings were carried out in a
gruesome fasmon intended to intimidate other potential opponents. On February 15
a Sendero assassination team shot and killea Maria Elena Moyano, a leader in
Lima's Villa El Salvador ^antytown, in the presence of her children, then blew up
her body by exploding dynamite placed on her chest. Sendero contlaued to target
foreign religious anddevelopment workers. On October 2, a Sendero unit kidnaped
Italian Salesian Brother Giuliani Rocca from his order's house near Huaraz, Ancash
department and later killed him with a shot to the head. On October 10, a Sendero
column attacked the hamlet of Huayllao, in Ayacucho department, murdering at
least 48 villagers, including the elderly, women, and children, and sacking or burning
a large portion of the community.
A second terrorist group, the MRTA, carried out sporadic high visibiliW/low risk
actions, such as the tluly 6 4-hour raid on Jaen, Cajamarca department; the August
ambush of an army truck in Lima, in which five soldiers and one civilian died; and
a series of ineffective mortar attacks in mid-October against the Presidential Palace,
the U.S. Ambassador's residence and the Ministry of the Army. This group suffered
serious setbacks, however, including capture and incarceration of senior MRTA leaders.
      b. Disappearance.
The number of disappearance cases in 1992 remained roughly
the same as in 1991. The Public Ministry reported 145 new unresolved disappearance
cases as of November 1992. The Coordmadora, using different case tracking
methods, reported 171 at that time. These numbers are likely to increase as reports
of disappearances that occurred late in 1992 continue to be recorded. Senator
Enrique Bemales, former chairman of the respected Senate Commission on Violence,
reported that in 1992 there were 280 disappearances, as compared to 300 in
1991. According to the Public Ministry, the majoritjr of its formal disappearance
complaints implicated members of the security forces in the emergency zones. Most
new cases were reported in San Martin, Junin, and Ayacucho departments. However,
the number of cases reported in metropolitan Lama increased dramatically,
from some 3 percent of all cases in 1991 to about 15 percent in 1992.
Testimony from survivors indicates that most victmis are taken to military bases
for interrogation. Some of those held are eventually turned over to the civilian court
svstem to oe released due to lack of evidence or to be imprisoned on terrorism
charges; others never reappear. The rondas figured increasingly in the number of
reported disappearances. Hondas were alleged to have been involved in approximately
3 percent of disappearance cases in 1991 and 13 percent in 1992. Comoined
military/ronda patrols were implicated in another 10 percent of disappearance cases
in 1992.
On July 18, professor Hugo Munoz Sanchez and nine students were reportedlv detained
by the armed forces during a sweep of dormitories at La Cantuta Teachers'
College. The military denied the detentions, but to date the students have not been
seen; writs of habeas corpus were ignored. (The armed forces occupied La Cantuta
in 1991 to counter pervasive Sendero Luminoso influence on the campus.)
At 2 a.m. June 24, unidentified armed and uniformed army personnel reportedly
broke into the home of journalist Pedro Yauri Bustamante in Huacho, Lima department.
The men bound and gagged Yauri and his father, beat them, and drove away
with Yauri in a pickup tru
to let Yauri's father file a complaint, and the court in Huacho denied a writ
of habeas corpus. In May charges of illegal detention and abuse of authority were
fUed against five policemen in the disappearance case of Manuel Pacotaype, mayor
of Chuschi in Ayacucho department, ana three other men. The victims msappeared
on March 14, 1991, and were never seen again.
An unknown number of "disappeared" persons may be unaccounted for because
they joined the ranks of the MRTA or Sendero, either voluntarily or under duress.
It is believed that the number of persons forcibly recruited by Sendero is
      c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Although the Constitution prohibits torture and inhuman or humiliating treatment,
charges of brutal treatment of detainees are common. Knowledgeable observers reported
that suspected subversives held by government security forces were routinely
tortured at mihtary detention centers. Four army officers detained for coup plotting
made credible claims that they had been tortured by beatings, electric shocKs, and
being hung up by their wrists with their arms tied behind their backs. In 1992 there
were also reliable accounts from released detainees of torture or mistreatment by
the police. There continued to be credible reports of rape perpetrated by elements
of the security forces in the emergency zones. In one case, an army lieutenant and
six soldiers raped 14-year-old Froyli Mori Vela after searching the house in which
she and her parents were staying.
When torture occurs it often takes place in the period immediately following detention.
The law requires that persons detained for terrorism be interrogated in the
presence of a Pubhc Ministry prosecutor. Reliable reports of violations of these
standards are frequent, especially in the emergency zones. The requirement that an
attorney be present at the initial stages of detention and interrogation in treason
cases was eliminated by decree law in 1992.
Mamr victims of Sendero terrorism also show signs of having been tortured. Torture
01 those victims often follows a brief "people's trial," normally held in the presence
of villagers as a method of intimidation. There are credible accounts that
Sendero tortures victims to death by means such as slitting throats, strangulation,
stoning, and burning. Mutilation of the body is common.
Peruvian prison conditions are appalling. Prisoners are exposed to unsanitary faciUlies^
poor nutrition and health care, as well as to harsh treatment by both prison
staff and fellow prisoners. Corruption is rampant among prison staff, who have been
implicated in a multitude of offenses, from sexual blackmail and the selling of narcotics
and weapons to euranging prison escapes. There were credible reports of routine
beatings and torture of inmates by prison guards. Besides beatings, common
methods of torture reportedly include electric shocks to sensitive areas of the body,
water torture, asphyxiation, and being hung on a hook from a rope attached to
hands tied behind the back. Human rights groups reported that in June two
Senderista inmates died of exposure at the maximum security prison in Puno following
their transfer to that facility after police regained control of Luna's Canto
Grande prison in May.
d. Arbitrary Arrest. Detention, or Exile.—The Constitution, the Penal Code, and
antiterrorist legislation delineate the arrest and detention process. However, most
if not all of these protections are suspended in practice in those areas under a state
of emergency.
In areas not subject to a state of emergency, a judicial warrant is required for
arrest, unless a peipetrator is caught in the act. Persons arrested must be arraigned
within 24 hours, except in cases of terrorism, drug trafficking, or espionage, for
which the Umit is 16 days. Suspected terrorists charged under new 1992 treason decrees
may be held for up to 30 days before arraignment. Detainees (in nonemergency
zone areas) have the right to choose their own attorney, or the Government
must provide counsel at no cost. This does not always occur in practice, and
human ri^ts sources report instances where court clerks have been deputized to
stand in as counsel. There is no functioning bail system; a form of provisional liberty
is available for persons not accused of terrorism, espionage, or narcotics offenses.
A provisional registry of detainees held bjr both the militaiy and police for terrorism
and other security crimes began operating in 1992. Police detention centers do
not make publicly available information detailing detentions, charges, transfers, or
releases of detamees. The ICRC, however, has access to local police detention
records and to tiiie national military registry of detainees. Local human rights organizations
are expected to have access to the national registry of detainees in military
and police facilities through the Office of the National Fiscal for Human Rights.
Arrest procedures are different in the emergency zones. Security forces do not
need an arrest warrant, and detainees are often denied access to an attorney during
interrogation and to family members during their imprisonment. All detainees, including
those in the emergency zones, have the legal ri^t to seek iudicial determination
of the lepility of their detention, but this ri^t is often d.isregarded by
military commanders in the emergency zones. Of the detainees held by the military
inside the emergency zones, human rights groups know of very few who were turned
over to civilian auuorities for prosecution. Incommunicado detention of suspects
was a common practice by government forces operating in the emergency zones.
Dozens of persons, whose detention the Government's security forces had initially
denied, nonetheless were later found to have been held in militaiy detention centers.
In mid-1991 the Government issued a legislative decree granting civilian public
prosecutors access to all military barracks and detention centers, including those in
the emergenqr zones. The decree specifies that the prosecutor naay privately interview
a detainee immediately upon nis detention ana examine him or her for signs
of physiced abuse. Where applicable, the prosecutor may order the prisoner remanded
into the civilian court system. If remanded to the courts, the prosecutor is
to accompany the prisoner and require a formal medical exanunation upon delivering
him mto civilian judicial custody. A public prosecutor must be present at the
release of any prisoner from militaiy detention.
Throughout 1992 public prosecutors generally continued to have access to militaiy
installations in the emei^ncy zones, with sporadic problems. The provision for access
to military installations by the Public Ministrys human ri^ts officials is relatively
new and could reverse the status quo whereby detainees are held incommunicado
and possibly disappear. Nevertheless, the number of detainees actually
turned over to civilian autnorities is believed to be small in comparison to the number
of persons thou^t to have actually been detained.
At least 48 persons were detained or placed under house arrest without charges
following the events of April 5, including former government ministers, parliamentarians,
labor leaders and an estimated 24 journalists. The Government permitted
ICRC visits to most of the detainees, and most were released within 10 days.
Only Agustin Mantilla, former Interior Minister in the Alan Garcia administration,
remains in detention. Government and security officials, as well as independent observers,
beUeve that Mantilla was connected to the now defunct Commando Rodrigo
Franco paramiUtaiy group that operated during the Garcia administration in the
late 1980's. However, Mantilla's detention was generally viewed as politically motivated.
The Constitution prohibits forced involuntary exile, and there have been no such
cases in the past 10 years.
e. Denial ^ Fair Public Trial.—The Peruvian legal system is based generally on
the Napoleonic Code. Defendants have the right to be present at the trial, at which
time verdicts are rendered by a judge or a panel of judges following an investigation
and the filing of chaives. Sentences may be appealed, and judges may send cases
back to lower courts lor additional investigation. Prior to April 5, the 28 Supreme
Court judges were nominated by the President (from slates supplied by an Advisory
Committee) and approved by the Senate. After the April 5 takeover, 14 Supreme
Court judges were dismissed, and 3 others resigned in protest. President Fujimori
then apjpointed new judges to a new Supreme Court consisting of 18 members. The
Court oi Constitutional Guarantees and the Advisory Committee mandated to nominate
judges were both disbanded. The President may replace and appoint judges
and prosecutors; in practice, the court system is not independent of the executive
In September a new decree created a judicial career system, in which future
entry-level judges will be chosen from the graduates of the planned Academy of
Higher Studies in the Ministry of Justice. Post-graduate academy training will be
a requirement for promotion throu^out the judicial system, including theSupreme
There continued to be widespread charges of corruption and of the suborning of
iudges, police, and witnesses at all stages of the judicial process. Courts faced severe
backlogs, a product of inefliciency, archaic case law and criminal procedural law,
and the sharp increase in terrorism cases. The case backlog in the Supreme Court
alone was 28,000. No one knows the size of the backlog for the entire judicial system,
but estimates range between 250,000 and 500,000 for all types of cases.
Human ri^ts groups have documented hundreds of cases of persons who have been
detained without bail while awaiting trial for periods of up to 4 years or longer.
President Fujimori continued his program of phased release of unconvicted prison
inmates awaiting trial, especially those who had already been in custody for a time
longer than the sentence for the crime with which they have been charged.
The vast majority of human rights complaints made to the public prosecutor's office
during the past 10 years were not investigated adequately due to lack of police
and military cooperation, resources, and ofllcial support. Provincial prosecutors attempting
to investigate complaints in the emergency zones were threatened, obstructed,
and refused information by members of tne armed forces. Following a presidential
decree in late 1991, access and support for human rights prosecutors improved,
but cooperation by the security forces with civilian prosecutor investigations
is stUl limited, and the prosecutors themselves often failed to conduct investigations
Sendero and MRTA threats and intimidation of judges handling terrorism cases
also account in part for the low conviction rate of accused terrorists. Since 1981 only
571 people have been tried and convicted for terrorism. According to the Public Ministry,
this represents a conviction rate of approximately 10 percent. The extremely
low rate of conviction in terrorism cases contributes to poUce/military frustration
with the judicial process and to public tolerance of abuses committed by security
forces operating against presumed terrorists. Following the events of April 5, special
courts were created to try terrorism cases in which the identity of the judges would
remain secret. An August decree classified nearly any terrorist act as treason, subject
to trial hy military tribunal with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment at
hard labor. The civilian courts with secret judges began operating in September, at
the same time the military courts began to handle terrorism cases. Human rights
groups criticized these decrees and procedures as a denial of due process. These
groups reported that of over 70 cases expeditiously tried by military tribunals, all
resulted in guilty verdicts. Civilian "faceless judge" courts reportedly are affected by
the same inefiiaency and inability to process cases that plague the normal civilian
judicial system.
With most terrorism trials now falling under militaiy court jurisdiction, the proceedings
became hidden from public scrutiny. Decree laws were issued in 1992 designed
to speed case processing and eliminate backlogs and waiting periods in terrorism
cases. After a 30-day initial detention and investigation period (twice the 15-
day maximum previously allowed), most cases appear to now fall under the jurisdiction
of military tribunals, which must pass judgment on the cases within 10 days.
An appeal may be made to the War Council, which has 10 days to decide on the
appeal. A final appeal to the Supreme Court of Military Justice would be acted upon
within 5 days. New decrees restricted defense attorneys to one active terrorism case
On September 22, a special military tribunal sentenced Juan Carlos Quispe and
Edilberto Macalupu to life imprisonment for treason in the Sendero assassination
of police captain Carlos Verau. These legal proceedings took a record 20 days, reflecting
still other decree laws designed to speed up dramaticaUy the legal processing
of terrorism cases.
On October 7, Sendero Luminoso founder Abimael Guzman was sentenced by secret
military tribunal to life imprisonment and assessed $25 billion plus interest in
civil damages for "treason against the State." Other senior Sendero leaders captured
along with Guzman on September 12 were also sentenced to life in prison under the
new decrees. Defense lawyers complained that the trial procedures were too abbre478
viated, that they were unable to cross-examine witnesses, and that President
Fujimori had in effect announced the verdict before tiie trial.
Guzman's lawyer argued that Guzman was a political prisoner not subject to
criminal prosecution. However, Guzman publicly admitted that he was the "president"
of Sendero Luminoso and was responsible for what he termed Sendero's ^ar"
against the Peruvian State. Guzman showed no signs of physical mistreatment and
was allowed to address the press at length on one occasion. The nature of these
trials—secret, brief, vntix little apparent time for the defense to act and limited ability
to cross examine or impeadi witnesses—combined with a system in which the
militaiy makes arrests, prosecutes, and passes judgment raises serious questions
about Peru's ability to ensure due process for persons who, unlike Guzman, plead
The new Supreme Court apparently will continue to decide whether military and
police offenders are tried in civilian courts or in the separate military court ^stem.
The military generally asserts its jurisdiction in cases involving its personnel, and
the Supreme Court has generally ruled in its favor. Under Peruvian law, those tried
in military courts may not be retried for the same offense in civilian courts.
f. Arbitrary Interference with PrUxicy, Family, Home, or Correspondence.—The
Constitution requires poUoe to have a judicial warrant to enter a private dwelling,
and this requirement is generally respected. The requirement is suspended in the
emergency zones, however, and security forces in those areas routinely conduct
searches of private homes without warrants.
With training and encouragement by the army, a number of rural communities
organized rondas to protect themselves against terrorist and bandit incursions. They
have had a noticeable impact on curbing Sendero's presence in certain areas of the
countiy. In some parts of tbe nation, rondas have existed for centuries as a form
of social organization and to protect residents firom invaders and rustlers. In most
cases, peasants joined rondas voluntarily to defend against Sendero. However, many
of the newer rondas were actively or|;anized, and sometimes imposed, under the direction
of the military authorities, with peasants sometimes coerced into participating
in ronda activities. Credible reports indicate some rondas engage in or support
illegal activities, from cattle rustling to protection of the coca industry. Sendero is
also credibly accused of regularly forcing peasants to join its militaiy ranks, often
for extended periods, and coercing Iheir participation in terrorist attacks and executions.
Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including
a. Freedom (^Speech and Press.—The Constitution provides for freedom of speech
and the press, mth 8 television stations, 1 cable television system, 72 radio stations,
and 18 daily newspapers in Lima alone, Peruvians have access to a broad
range of opinion and information. The Government owns one of the three national
television networks, a radio network, and one newspaper. Most major opposition
parties boast their own newspaper, and opposition figures also have frequent access
to the government media.
Following the April 5 takeover, the Government occupied print and broadcast
media offices, closed a radio station and a weekly leftist newspaper, and briefly^^
jailed some ?i journalists. Thou^ the measures were withdrawn within 48 haata
with an apology from the President, many media sources expressed concern that
such actions could be repeated.
A number of journalists reported receiving phone calls from unidentified sources
warning them off stories that mij^t reflect advances by Sendero or lack of progress
bjyr the Government in the fight against terrorism. On the night of April 5, Gustavo
tiorriti, a well-known joumaust and the author of a book on Sendero Luminoso, was
arrested and taken into custody, reportedly by agents fiiom the National Intelligence
Service (SIN). Gorriti's computer was confiscated and authorities sought other
records and information Gorriti had gathered for the sequel to his first book. Gorriti
was released after 2 days, following intense UJS. Government and international protest.
Human rights observers believe Gorriti's detention was connected to a longstanding
public feud with Presidential security advisor Vladimiro Montesinos.
Enrique Zileri, pubUslier of the influential weekly news magazine Caretas, lost a
final appeal against a court suit for libel filed by Montesinos. Zileri had published
an article about Montesinos and his work as a lawyer for a Colombian drug dealer.
A restraining order prohibited Zileri and Caretas from mentioning Montesinos'
name or publishing his photo. Many journalists and legal professionals felt this action
had no real legal basis, since the basic alle^tion was backed up by official
records and there was no argument that the material published met any of the basic
standards for libel.
Some journalists were jailed on suspicion of subversive activities. In September
the Government arrested Magno Sosa, a journalist based in Ayacucho, on terrorism
charges. The Government has not provided any evidence against Sosa, who had
written articles critical of the Government, but he remained under detention. In Eiecember
the Defense Minister asked the Attorney General to sue Si magazine editor
Ricardo Uceda for publishing a story that alleged that national intelligence and
army personnel had carried out the 1991 Barrios Altos massacre.
Meoia sources expressed concern over Legislative Decree Number 25475, a vaguely
worded ordinance which holds journalists who allegedly assist "seditious forces"
in any way liable to criminal prosecution. First promulgated by the executive branch
before the events of April 5 but derogated by Congress, President Fujimori reinstated
the decree afterwards. Its existence, say media representatives, '^angs like
a sword of Damocles" overioumalists.
In separate actions MR'fA and Sendero forces occupied the offices of several radio
stations and wire services, forcing the media outlets to transmit political propaganda
messages. Sendero also bombed several rural radio stations. Sendero used
threats to intimidate radio stations, journalists, and publications. The College of Peruvian
Journalists reported that as many as 40 journalists have been killed in the
past 12 years, many oy Sendero violence. On June 5, a Sendero car bomb exploded
outside Lima's Channel 2 television station, killing at least 5 persons and injuring
over 20. On August 3, Santiago Jau Gomez was killed by a Sendero assassination
team for having refused to obey an "armed strike" in Barranca, northern Lima department.
Academic freedom is generally more respected by the Government than by the
subversives, who strive to control many umversities. Sendero and MRTA resort extensively
to threats and abuse against faculty, staff, and students in a number of
universities which they seek to control. Sendero influence was most notable at the
University of San Marcos, La Cantuta Teachers' University, the National Engineering
University (all in Lima), and the Universidad del Centre in Huancayo. Army
units entered San Marcos and La Cantuta in May 1991 to paint out Sendero propaganda
and "restore university freedom" with a show of military presence.
      b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
These rights are expressly provided
for in the Constitution and are normally respected in practice except in areas
under a state of emergency (where the right of assembly is suspended). Public meetings
in plazas or streets reauire advance permission, which mav be denied only for
reasons of public safety or nealth. Muniapal authorities usually approved permits
for demonstrations in Lima and nonemergency zones. Many unauthorizea public
meetings and demonstrations also occurred, and, for the most part, the (Jovemment
dealt with them in a nonconfrontational manner. The police have occasionally used
clubs, tear gas, and water cannons to break up marches or disperse large crowds,
but this has been the exception and not the rule. These tactics were mostly used
against striking public service workers, including nurses, school teachers, and social
security workers.
      c. Freedom of Religion
Roman Catholicism predominates in Peru, and the Constitution
formally recognizes the Church "as an important element in the historical,
cultural, and moral development" of the nation. The Constitution also establishes
the separation of church and state and ensures freedom of religion and conscience.
These rights are respected in practice.
Sendero Luminoso issued death threats against members of various religious organizations
during 1992, including the Roman Catholic Church. Sendero demonstrated
increasing antagonism to organized religion in general and to foreign clergy
in particular. Several religious workers were killed by Sendero in 1991 and 1992,
inclumng an Italian priest in October 1992 and Peruvian Presbyterians in June.
      d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
The Constitution provides for the right of free movement, and there are
no political or legal constraints on foreign travel or emigration. Freedom of movement
is legally suspended within the emergency zones, and travelers may be detained
by authorities at any time. Lax controls at checkpoints allow internal travel
in security zones with little oflicial interference. On June 10, following a spate of
serious Sendero terrorist attacks in Lima, the Government ordered a nighttime vehicular
curfew for the metropolitan area, which remained in effect until December
2. At least three persons were shot to death by soldiers when they failed to obey
commands to stop during curfew hours. Pedestrian trafilc and limited vehicular traffic
with oflicial passes was permitted. Other domestic and international travel is not
restricted by the Government for political reasons.
Sendero conducted numerous "armed strikes" in various parts of the country, during
which civilians were obliged to stay home or risk reprisals. Public and private
venicles operating during the strikes were subject to attack. In July Sendero burned
a taxi driver to death in his vehicle in Lima. In September Sendero ambushed severed
vehicles traveling in a remote part of Ayacucho on a main route, burning the
vehicles and killing at least five persons. Bandit ambushes of vehicles, especialW
inter-provincial buses, continued in 1992. Some bandits were found to have been onduty
police officers.
Section 3. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
President Fujimori, elected to office in 1990, interrupted the democratic process
on April 5, 1992 by dissolving Consress and suspending the independent judiciary,
with military and police support. He claimed that rampant corruption and institutional
inefficiency inside the Government and congressional obstructionism forced
him to establish a 'Xjovemment of Emergency and National Reconstruction* under
his ^rect control. The Fiiesident charged that the Congress, the politiceil parties,
and the judiciary hamstrung his ability to address effectivelv what he termed the
nation's most important problem, the growing threat posed by Sendero Luminoso.
Opposition political parties claimed that the Government rebuffed repeated efforts
to engage in a dialog. The April 5 events occurred as Congress was initiating an
independent investigation of corruption charges made by the wife of President
Fujimori against other members of the President's family. Those charges were subsequently
msmissed by the Fujimori-controlled judiciary.
While tiiere was strenuous condemnation of President Fujimori's
extraconstitutional action by the international community and most of Peru's political
elite, what he did was popular among the majority of Peruvians, especially those
from the more disadvantaged classes. With unfettered control of the Government,
Fujimori quickly issued a series of decree laws and other measures intended to reform
tiie Government and the economy, many of which had previously been rejected
or modified by the deposed Congress.
On May 18, at a special Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of
American States (OAiS), President Fojimori made a commitment to them that elections
would be held for a constituent congress. After several changes in the timetable
and other details, elections were held on November 22, 1992, for an 80-member
Democratic Constituent Congress (CCD) to revnite the Constitution, promulgate
new laws, and review previous legislation. 'The new Congress is to serve out the previous
Congress' term until July ^, 1995.
After a dialog with some of the smaller parties, the President dictated decrees regulating
the CCD elections. Major opposition parties briefly joined talks with the
Government, but then refused to engage further, charging the Government with not
accepting genuine dialog. Several traditional opposition political parties and new
independent political groupings eventually participated in the CCD elections, albeit
many with reservations, 'the two largest traditional parties, the American Popular
Revolutionary Chance (APRA) and Popular Action (AP), refused to participate. The
fairness of the election rules was widely criticized, and the extent to which the CCD
would exercise power independent of the executive branch was questioned. The elections
were monitored, at the Government's request, by over 200 OAS observers.
These observers, as well as domestic ones, concluded that the elections were conducted
freely and fairly, with significant popular participation. Most deficiencies
were due to the lack of training and experience of electoral woikers.
A coup attempt in November underscored the fi*agility of the Government and the
need for a prompt return to democracy. The Presiaent claimed that coup plotters,
plus several prominent opposition politicians, had sou^t to kill him. No proof, however,
was made public. Several nulitary officers were jailed pending trial. By the
end of the year, two politicians and two businessmen allegedlv involved in the coup
attempt claimed political asylum outside Peru, asserting the Government was persecuting
Section 4. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation
t^Alleged Violations ofHuman Rights
A number of local private human ri^ts organizations joined to form the Independent
National Coordinating Committee for Human Rights, known as the
Coordinadora. These include the Commission for Human Rights, the Institute for
Legal Defense, the Association for Human Rights, the Catholic Chtirch's Episcopal
Commission for Sodal Action, and the Center for Studies and Action for Peace. Several
smaller groups work in the departmental capitals and other cities. These
eroups are widely considered to be credible, thorough, and impartial observers.
Local groups produced documentary evidence of their longstanding and strenuous
denunciations of Sendero Luminoso as the single largest violator of human ri^ts
in Peru, while simultaneously denouncing the many violations committed by members
of the Peruvian Government,
President Fujimori nonetheless repeatedlv accused some international and national
human n^ts groups of failing to condemn eoually the human ri^ts offenses
committed by the terrorists, thus serving the ends or terrorism. His repeated attacks
on human rights organizations were symptomatic of the diflicult working environment
these groups race in Peru. Local human rights oi^ganizations complain that
they are limited oy the military in their eflbrts to investigate human ri^ts abuses
in the emergency zones and that their requests to the Government for information
are usually ignored. Legitimate fears of attacks by Sendero also greatly limit the
ability of human ri^^ts monitors to investigate reported cases of abuse. In a case
that occurred prior to the capture of Guzman, Jose Kamirez Garcia, a human ri^ts
monitor and writer on political violence from Cuzco, was detained in August, accordins
to reliable reports, for photocopying a book about the Shining Path and for allege^^
having Senctero literature in nis home. He was tried and released.
Following the SeptenAer 12 arrest of Guzman, the Government and the media
Sublished uie identities of presumed Sendero leaders living abroad and inside Peru,
everal of those identiiiea were respected members of local self-help or human
rights organizations. Human ri^ts groups expressed concern that the Government
was trying to limit their effectiveness by tamng legitimate human rights activists
as Sendero supporters. For example, Carlos Chipoco, a respected human rights activist,
was included on a list compiled by security services of persons allegedly sympathetic
to Sendero. The Government provided no evidence against Chipoco, nor was
he charged with any crime.
Several foreign nongovernmental human rights oi^anizations sent representatives
to Peru during 1992 to investigate the human rights situation. The president of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Ri^ts (lAHRC) visited Peru in May and
Americas Wateh sent a delegation in July. The lAHRC president was denied access
to Lima's maximum security Canto Grande Prison, but met with Prime Minister
Oscar de la Puente. Several human rights groups and the ICRC were invited to participate
in seminars and to offer human rights instruction at military and police
Section 5. Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Language, or Social Status
The Constitution grants women equality with men, and laws on marriage, divorce,
and property rights do not discriminate against women. Nevertheless, tra(htion impedes
access by women to leadership roles in major social and political institutions.
President Fujimori appointed Blanca Nelida Colan as Attorney Generfil and Maria
Herminia Drago Correa as National Comptroller, but has no women in his Cabinet.
Sexual violence, including spouse abuse, is a chronic problem. A special police center,
staffed by policewomen, operates in lima to provide Wal, medical, and psychiatric
assistance to abused spouses and children. Police in Lima receive numerous
formal complaints of rape daily, but estimate that less than 10 percent are reported.
Of the 2,800 rape cases tried in Lima in 1991, only 340 resulted in convictions. A
number of women's organizations and feminist groups are active in Peru.
Peru's large indigenous population and its small black population face pervasive
discrimination and social prejudice. Indigenous people, mostly speakers of Quechua,
Aymara, and other native languages, traditionally lack access to public services and
support. Peruvian public investment is focused largely on the coast, drawing impoverished
migrants to the cities, especially Lima. Recognizing this fact, the Government
announced plans to redirect the flow of resources and services to poor, largely
Indian, rural areas. Development efforts, however, have been impeded by the difficulty
and cost of providing services to remote areas and by the continued deliberate
disruption of tnese eflbrts by Sendero.
Section 6. Worker Rights
      a. The Right of Association
The Constituent Assembly elected on November 22
is to rewrite the 1979 Constitution. TTiat Constitution provided for freedom of association
and, with the exception of judiciary, police, military, and military
parastatals, the right to form trade unions without prior authorization. A labor
union may be suspended or dissolved under the 1979 Constitution only upon request
of the union or upon cancellation of its registration. Unions, industry-wide federations,
and confederations all freely afliliate with international labor organizations.
A comprehensive labor law was promulgated in 1992, which for the first time defines,
and inherently limits, the nature of a trade union. President Fujimori has declared
that the new law is necessary to establish a free and competitive labor market
which will increase investment and emplojmaent. The new law, as clarified by
implementing regulations, does not require prior government authorization to form
a union, but provides for a legal reo^nition process. It allows for multiple forms
of unions across company and professional lines, thus permitting miiltiple unions in
the same coorpany. The 1992 law enumerates the types of activity in which unions
mav engage. But pndiibits political activity, coercion, or illegal use of union funds,
ana imposes new record keeping and reporting obligations on unions. Candidates for
union office must be employed at least 1 year in the company. Private and public
sector unions in the same field may not jom toother. Woixers in probationary status
or on 1-year contracts are not eligible for luuon membership. It is estimated that
60 percent of the country's labor force works in the informal sector. In the formal
Peruvian economy, probably less than 15 percent of the labor force is organized.
The 1979 Constitution provides the ri^t to strike "according to law." The new
law establishes tiiat strikes may be called only after ai>proval oy all workers, not
just union members, voting with secret ballots. Strikes in essential public services
must provide sufficient woikers. as determined by the en4>loyer, to maintain operations.
The 1992 law specifies the conditions under which a strike may be declared
illegal, which include striking in defiance of an order not to strike, any violence,
strikes in the public sector except as noted above, or failure to terminate a strike
following an agreement to terminate. Most strikes in Peru in recent years have been
determined to oe illegaL
Several complaints against Peru involving fi^eedom of association or collective bargaining
restrictions were examined by supervisory bodies of the International Labor
Organization (ILO) in 1992. The ILO Governing Body at several of its meetings, for
example, expressed deep concern at allegations of murders, disappearances, and attacks
on teacher trade unionists during a strike in 1991 and urged the Government
to determine the whereabouts of four missing trade unionists. At year's end the
Governing Body had under examination another complaint dealing with military
and police intervention at trade union headqpiarters and the detention of trade
union officials during tiie emergency measures of April. Union activists have also
been threatened by terrorist groups. In December Pedro Huillca became the third
labor leader to be murdered in 19S^ in a terrorist-type attack.
b. The Ri^ht to Organize and Bargain Collectively.—While the ri^t to baraain
collectively is constitutionally guaranteed, there are restrictions. Under the 1992
law bargaining agreements are now considered contractual agreements valid only
for the hfe of the contract. Productivity provisions must be included in any collective
bargaining agreement. The amount of time union officials may devote to union work
with pay is limited to 30 days per year. If there is no existing labor contract at the
professional or industry level, unions must negotiate with each company individually,
unless the affected employers agree to industry-wide negotiations.
Unions must present tlieir contract demands 30 to 60 days before expiration of
existing contracts. Employers are now required to disclose essential financial data
to unions, which unions are required to keep confidential. The union may request
binding arbitration, and tlie Labor Ministry can choose an arbitrator if parties cannot
agree. Woikers, however, may opt for a strike in lieu of arbitration, but this
has not yet been tinted. The Ministry may impose compulsory binding arbitration
in the case of essential services if agreement is not reached throu^ negotiations
or conciliation.
"Certain workers," not fiirther defined, are protected against arbitrary dismissal
under the 1992 labor law. Although discrimination against union members or organizers
is illegal, employers make full use of various legal mechanisms to minimize
a union presence. In practice outright harassment of union members by employers
is uncommon. Union activists have been threatened by terrorist groups.
Labor laws and regulations are applied uniformly throu^out the country.
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulaory Labor.—The constitutional prohibition
against compulsory labor is generally respected. In 1991 a Penal Code provision was
repealed under wmch a iudge could commit a "savage" to a penal agricultural colony
involving compulsory laoor for an unspecified period up to 20 years, irrespective of
the maximum sentence that would be applicable if his crime had been committed
by a "civilized man." The Government's presence outside of metropolitan areas is,
however, limited. In the past there have been unverified reports of compulsory labor
on plantations in remote areas. Sendero Luminoso also engages in forcible recruitment
of cadres and workers.
      d. Minimum Age for Employment of Children
Children under 14 may not be legally
employed. Children ages 16 to 21 may constitute up to 15 percent of a company's
work force and may be employed for periods not to exceed 18 months. Workers
between 14 and 24 must have completed their primaiy schooling before being hired
in apprentice programs and are entitled to receive the minimum wage. Minimum
age laws for cnild employment are not widely enforced. Children of all ages work
in the informal sector.
e. Acceptable ConditUms of Work.—Most wages lag behind the cost of living, and
many Peruvians must seek secondary employment to supplement their incomes. The
legal minimum wage is insuflicient to provide basic requirements for a worker and
family. A September 1990 World Bank report indicated that 55 percent of all Peruvians
live in extreme poverty, and economic conditions have not improved since
The Labor Code provides for an 8-hour day and an official 48-hour workweek for
men and a 45-hour woricweek for women, including 24 hours' rest per week and 30
days' paid annual vacation. Given job competition, however, these and other benefits
are readily sacrificed in exchange for regular employment.
There are government standards for industrial health and safety, but they are
rarely enforced either by the employers or by the Government, which has no inspectors.
Accidents are common, and there is usually no emphasis on prevention, mien
accidents occur, however, employers normally provide at least minimal compensation