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Peru’s armed conflict, which lasted from 1980 and 2000, was characterized by the commission of massive violations of human rights, including enforced disappearances. More than 20 years on, authorities continue to prosecute abuses committed by government forces. The pardon granted to President Alberto Fujimori for crimes against humanity was annulled in 2018 by a court order. The same year, he was also charged for his alleged role in forced sterilizations of mostly poor and indigenous women during his presidency.
Despite the progress in the fight against impunity, Peru still faces many challenges in order to improve its compliance with the Convention against Torture. Reports show that many people have been killed or injured as a result of the actions taken by the security forces in response to the protests against mining projects and other extractive industries that have taken place in various regions of the country. The United Nations Committee Against Torture also reported cases of arbitrary detention and sexual violence against transgender women by members of the National Police, in addition to transgender people continuing to be denied social and legal recognition of their gender identity. Gender-based violence is also a significant issue in Peru, with an increase in the number of cases of femicide, domestic violence and sexual violence. The access to therapeutic abortion is still not guaranteed in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and in cases of severe foetal impairment.
Criminalisation, harassment and abuse of the criminal law are regularly employed to subdue human rights defenders in Peru. Individuals who peacefully defend their ancestral rights and strive to protect our environment are too often labelled as “enemies of development”.