Sunday, 5 April 2009

Peru: Annual Report on Human Rights (2)

Part (1) is here. From the report of the CNDDHH, chapter 2, the following important points:

1) Attempts on life by presumed state agents:

- in 2008, there were at least 42 deaths by presumed state agents, considerably more than in each of the previous 6 years.

The deaths were caused as followed (p.36):

Counterinsurgency measures by the armed forces: 7 (17.1%)
Routine control by the national police: 3 (7.3%)
Evictions by the national police: 3 (7.3%)
Social cleansing by the national police: 20 (48.8%)
Protests by the national police: 8 (19.5%)
Total: 41 (100%)

93% of these were adult males. 83% were caused by the police (in violent evictions, through repression of protests, and so on) and the remainder by the armed forces (p45).

2) At the same time, at least 25 people were killed by 'subversive agents' - basically Shining Path remnants. This is almost twice as many as in the previous year. 81.5% of victims were members of the security forces (p.47).

3) The Defensoria del Pueblo is aware of 80 cases of torture in 2008, of which 68 were committed by the police and the remainder by the armed forces (p. 65). Some of these have taken place within military establishments or penitentiary units. Most of those tortured by the armed forces were conscripts on their military service. From a torture point of view, a police station is one of the most dangerous places to be in Peru.

4) There has been an increase in the number of arbitrary detentions and deprivations of liberty as part of the government's criminalisation of protest. Community leaders are the most vulnerable to this sort of abuse.

5) There has been a general increase in attacks on freedom of expression and the press. These attacks include death threats, physical assaults, cutting off means of communication, blackmail, and others. They number at least 100 in 2008 (p.92). The perpetrators were sometimes unknown but apparently included members of the security forces as well as local officials, businesspersons, and others.

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