The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold a hearing today to monitor compliance with its judgments in the cases known as Barrios Altos and La Cantuta. In 2001 and 2006, respectively, the Inter-American Court declared that Peru was internationally responsible for the deaths of 15 people and injuries of four others, and for the enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of ten people. In addition, it ordered comprehensive reparation measures for the victims. These judgments were fundamental milestones for the Peruvian justice system to prosecute and convict Fujimori to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, in 2009. However, last December 24, Fujimori was pardoned by the president of the Republic of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
The amicus brief filed today underscores the Peruvian State’s obligation to comply with decisions of the Inter-American Court. It also emphasizes the incompatibility of pardons in cases of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity with the American Convention and with what the Inter-American Court ordered in the judgments of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta cases; and it describes the additional violations that the pardon process generated for the victims. In light of the processes in Argentina regarding the last military dictatorship’s crimes, the brief further stresses the importance that the highest Inter-American tribunal’s judgments have had in the fight against impunity – in Peru and throughout the region.
“The pardon of Alberto Fujimori is contrary to the victims’ right to justice and to comprehensive reparation,” the organizations conclude. “With this decision, which resulted from a process lacking transparency, the Peruvian State is disregarding the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court and failing to comply with its obligation to investigate, prosecute and sanction those responsible for gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity.”
Following today’s hearing, it is essential that the Inter-American Court issue a new pronouncement strongly stating that the pardon violates the Convention and must be reversed. We hope that Peru will respect the rights of victims of the gravest of crimes, in accordance with its international obligations, and comply with the new resolution of the Inter-American Court.
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS)
Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo