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Peru: The conviction of former president Fujimori is 'a milestone in the fight for justice', says Amnesty

The conviction of former President Alberto Fujimori is a crucial milestone in the struggle against impunity in Peru and shows that nobody is exempt from being held to account, Amnesty International said today.

Amnesty International’s observer at the trial, Javier Zúñiga said:

“Justice has been done in Peru. This is an historic day.

“It’s not every day when a former head of state is convicted for human rights violations such as torture, kidnapping and enforced disappearances. We hope that it’s just the first of many trials in both Latin America and throughout the world.”

The guilty verdict was reached by the Special Criminal Division of Peru’s Supreme Court with regard to the investigation into the cases of Barrios Altos (in which 15 men, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights were unlawfully executed in 1991), La Cantuta (where nine students and a university lecturer were kidnapped and later killed in 1992 by members of the Colina Group, a paramilitary force within the Peruvian Army) and the SIE basements (where two kidnap victims were held).

The decision, which was unanimously adopted by the three presiding judges, concluded that former President Alberto Fujimori, bore individual criminal responsibility in all three cases because he had effective military command over those who committed the crimes.

Javier Zúñiga continued:

“Now it is vital that all those responsible for human rights violations committed in Peru, including those perpetrated prior to the government of Alberto Fujimori, be brought before the courts. Enforced disappearances, torture and rape are crimes that are not subject to statute of limitations if they are committed on a widespread basis, as happened in Peru.”

Amnesty International has been closely following the trial of Alberto Fujimori. At the start of the trial, the organisation met with the Special Criminal Division, the Prosecutors, the lawyers acting for the claimants and the lawyer representing the accused. So far, Amnesty has received no information from any of the parties to the trial to suggest that it was not conducted in an independent and impartial manner.

Amnesty International has established that under the government of Alberto Fujimori serious human rights violations and crimes against international law were committed – such as torture, killings and enforced disappearance. Given their widespread and systematic nature, these acts constituted crimes against humanity.

Amnesty International has also found that human rights violations were widespread and systematic in nature before 1990.

To arrange an interview with Amnesty International’s delegation which observed the delivery of the verdict in Lima, please contact Amnesty International UK’s media unit.

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