23rd August, 2013

Advocacy organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed its concern over the lack of justice in cases involving crimes against humanity in Peru as the country marks 10 years since the publication of a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The commission, which was established by the Peruvian government to investigate the causes and impact of 20 years of violence between guerilla groups and government forces, handed down a report on 28th August, 2003, in which it found the conflict had left 70,000 victims with guerilla group Shining Path responsible for the majority and the government for 37 per cent. Victim numbers have since been revised and are now believed to top 100,000.

The commission's report also contained a series of recommendations with a focus on obtaining justice for victims in a bid to prevent future violence but CSW say that many cases - especially those involving government forces - have stalled while others have been shelved.

It cites as an example the case of Protestant pastor Jorge Parraga Castillo who was abducted, tortured and later killed on a military base. The case was archived after the Ministry of Defence and military refused to name those responsible. CSW says prosecution of those responsible for mass killings - such as the extra-judicial execution of six young men during a church service in 1984 in the hamlet of Callqui and, in the same year, the murder of 123 civilians including infants and the elderly in the community of Putis - have also stalled due to a lack of cooperation from the ministry and military.

"As we celebrate the ten year anniversary of this groundbreaking report, we call on President Ollanta Humala to prioritise the full implementation of the TRC"s recommendations," says Benedict Rogers, CSW's acting advocacy director.

"We urge the Peruvian government, including the Ministry of Defence and the military, to provide the names of those responsible for human rights atrocities and to cooperate actively with investigations. As institutions which are sworn to protect the civilian population and uphold the rule of law in Peru, they must take the lead in the fight against impunity."

~ www.csw.org.uk

- DAVID ADAMS