Sunday, 20 June 2010

Peru Round-up (II): Impunity and Intolerance

Accusations have been flying between government ministers and human rights activists over the past week.

Gloria Cano of APRODEH has claimed that the state is trying to create a 'favourable climate' for the release of the members of the paramilitary Grupo Colina.

And in general, groups such as the CNDDHH are denouncing a culture of impunity in the judicial system:
Since early 2009, the Sala Penal Nacional, the highest-level court dealing with the human rights cases against armed forces and police personnel, has acquitted 65 members of the security forces and convicted only 15, according to human rights organisations that defend victims of the 1980-2000 civil war. (IPS)
In the face of this, Defense Minister Rafael Rey has said that human rights defenders are "intolerant" and persecuting the armed forces.

In response, Cano has published a truly blistering speech which deserves to be read in full, but here is the opening:

The Peruvian Minister of Defense, Rafael Rey, has accused the defenders of human rights of being intolerant. And I respond, Mr. Minister, that you are correct: we are intolerant.

And we won’t stop being intolerant in the face of the crimes committed against our people, nor in the face of governmental abuse of or apathy before the outcry of hundreds of Peruvians—of women, children and families that, thirty years after the start of the internal armed conflict, continue to search for the bodies of their children, husbands, brothers and fathers that have disappeared. They continue hoping to uncover the truth and achieve justice.

We are intolerant when the state—whose role is to protect the life and integrity of its citizens—tortures, rapes, and kills in the supposed “defense” of democracy.

Read the whole thing here.

Severe Setbacks for Justice in Cases Involving Military (IPS)
"Buscan excarcelacion del grupo Colina" (La Republica, via APRODEH)
En defensa a militares, ministro Rey desafia a IDL y a CNDDHH (La Republica)

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