Sunday, 31 January 2010

Peru: Pucará Trial On, Despite Govt Interference

I noted in June 2009 that a trial had opened concerning the 1989 Pucará massacre. I then lost track of the issue completely, until this article from IPS, which proves that 1) I can't keep up with the progress of all the news stories I mention, 2) the Peruvian justice system is lamentably slow and 3) you can't trust the Garcia regime, which has major human violations on its hands from its first term, not to obstruct the progress of human rights investigations at every turn.

A trial against 41 Peruvian soldiers and officers accused of murdering six men and two women in the highlands village of Pucará in 1989, during the first term of current President Alan García, has reopened.


The trial got underway again after the lawyers representing the victims' families successfully lobbied the court to order the return to Peru of a key defendant, noncommissioned officer Clodomiro Silva.

Silva and the rest of the members of the army accused in the Pucará murders are not allowed to leave the country without permission from the court, and must attend all court sessions when summonsed.

Nevertheless, President García named Silva as an assistant to Peru's military attaché in Washington.

As a result, the trial was held up when Silva did not show at the Dec. 12, 21 and 28 hearings.


Silva's appointment "was a way to put him out of reach of the justice system, and his failure to show up at the hearings hampered the trial," Antonio Salazar, a lawyer with the non-governmental Legal Defence Institute (IDL) who represents the victims' families, told IPS.

Sources at the courthouse where the trial is being held told IPS that the judiciary had notified the army command that Silva's appointment to a diplomatic mission abroad was a violation of due process.

Silva finally returned to Lima on Jan. 10, and reported in to the courts. (emphasis mine)
Generals in the Dock in Human Rights Trial (IPS)

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