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TITLE:  PERU HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                              PERU


Peru is a multiparty republic with a dominant executive branch 
headed by President Alberto Fujimori.  Following the 
President's April 1992 seizure of extraconstitutional powers, 
he called elections for a new Congress, which drafted a new 
Constitution approved in a 1993 referendum.  The President's 
party controls the 80-member unicameral Constituent Congress.  
The next Congress will have 120 members elected at large in 
April 1995.  An independent tribunal has reviewed the most 
senior judicial appointments, but two-thirds of the judges and 
prosecutors remain provisional, chosen by the President.

The military and police share public security duties.  Since 
1980 much of their efforts have been directed toward defeating 
Sendero Luminoso and other antigovernment guerrillas.  As 
government counterinsurgency policies became increasingly 
effective, the threat from Sendero greatly declined, and the 
human rights situation improved.  Nonetheless, the military and 
the police continued to be responsible for serious human rights 
abuses and, except in rare cases, continued to act with 
impunity.

Peru's mixed economy combines free market capitalism with state 
ownership of some major industries.  Minerals extraction and 
processing account for nearly half the foreign exchange 
earnings.  The Government pursued a market-oriented economic 
stabilization and structural adjustment program, including 
privatization of state-owned firms.  The economy continued to 
recover from an economic crisis, with gross domestic product 
rising 12 percent and inflation falling to 15.3 percent.  
However, the 1993 census showed that over half of Peruvians 
live in poverty, and nearly half of those in extreme poverty.

Most of the human rights problems in 1994 continued to be 
related to the guerrilla war, in which over 27,000 Peruvians 
have died due to actions and abuses by both sides.  The 
Government lifted emergency zone status, which provides for the 
suspension of certain constitutional guarantees, in six 
provinces in November, but this status continued in Lima and 
other provinces, affecting 48 percent of Peru's 22 million 
people.  While the number of human rights abuses such as 
extrajudicial killings and disappearances are down considerably 
from previous years, the military and the police continued to 
be responsible for numerous extrajudicial killings, arbitrary 
detentions, torture, rape, and disappearances.  The Sendero 
Luminoso and other terrorist groups were responsible for much 
greater numbers of serious abuses, including assassinations, 
massacres of indigenous people, torture, and the use of random 
and specific acts of terror to intimidate the populace.

Perpetrators of human rights violations in general continued to 
act with impunity.  There was no effort to investigate the 1991 
Barrios Altos or 1992 Huancayo killings.  Congress passed a 
special law to prevent the trial in the La Cantuta case (in 
which army personnel abducted and killed nine students and a 
professor from "La Cantuta" University in 1992) from going to a 
civilian court.  While a military tribunal convicted a general 
and eight other officers and sentenced them to jail terms, 
there was no rigorous investigation of accusations of 
involvement by higher officials.

The administration of justice continued to be slow, 
inefficient, and frequently subject to charges of corruption, 
although significant reforms are in progress.  The Government 
established two groups to review cases of individuals who had 
suffered prolonged detention without trial or who had been 
wrongly arrested or convicted.  It also repealed the Terrorist 
Repentance Law, the abuse of which led to large number of 
arbitrary detentions based on false accusations, but it did not 
address the fundamental problem of lack of due process.  Prison 
conditions remained poor, although the Government did improve 
some facilities.

By the end of 1994, Congress had not yet created the office of 
the "Defender of the People" (which would serve as an ombudsman 
on human rights issues) as called for in the new Constitution.  
However, it passed legislation in October to reopen the offices 
of human rights prosecutors, which the Attorney General had 
closed in June when an executive decree restructured the Public 
Ministry.  The Congress also created the National Judiciary 
Council to provide an independent review of current provisional 
judges and prosecutors, but it was not staffed or functioning 
by year's end.  It postponed implementation of a new Criminal 
Procedures Code subject to a congressionally mandated review 
commission.  The Government continued to criticize harshly 
local human rights groups, and the President publicly rejected 
what he termed "foreign interference" in human rights and 
democracy issues.  The dialogue between the Government and the 
Coordinadora, an umbrella organization for human rights groups, 
stalled over a number of issues.  Despite a generally free 
press, some journalists were occasionally threatened and 
harassed.  Peru's large indigenous population was subject to 
widespread discrimination.  Violence against women remained 
pervasive.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Since 1980 Peru has suffered a bloody guerrilla war waged by 
the terrorist groups Sendero Luminoso and the Tupac Amaru 
Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).  This war has caused over 27,000 
deaths and numerous human rights abuses by both guerrillas and 
security forces; Sendero Luminoso committed more killings than 
the security forces.

The Coordinadora estimated that military forces were 
responsible for at least 32 extrajudicial killings, the rural 
self-defense forces known as rondas were responsible for 2, and 
the National Police for 4.  Killings by the military could be 
even greater, since according to credible reports, the army 
killed an unknown number of civilians in Huanuco department in 
April (the Coordinadora counted 25).  The reported level of 
killings by government forces was slightly higher than in 1993, 
but still substantially lower than previous years.  At the 
height of the insurgency in 1992, the Coordinadora estimated 
that security forces were responsible for 114 extrajudicial 
killings.  Most of the 1994 killings took place in the Upper 
Huallaga valley, where the level of conflict was highest, and 
occurred in the course of a military sweep operation in Huanuco 
department in April (see Section 1.g.).

On January 20, military police detained university student 
Victor Raul Espinoza after he reportedly instigated an 
altercation with military personnel near the presidential 
palace in Lima.  They turned Espinoza over to the National 
Police, who took him to a nearby police station where police 
reportedly tortured and killed him.  Several hours later, the 
police took Espinoza's bruised body to a local hospital.  
Following an investigation, a judge found sufficient evidence 
to indict 14 officers.  According to the attorney for 
Espinoza's family, all 14 police indicted in the case remained 
on active duty at the end of the year; the case remained open 
but had not yet progressed beyond the investigative stage by 
the Attorney General's office.

However, civil authorities neither investigated fully most of 
the remaining killings by security forces, nor subjected the 
perpetrators to judicial sanctions.  In those cases that were 
taken up, the armed forces relied on provisions of the Military 
Justice Code and the Constitution, the effect of which was to 
preempt independent civilian investigation and prosecution of 
cases involving military abuses.  Although administrative 
sanctions and dismissals may have been decided in some cases, 
this process often accorded impunity to the perpetrators of 
human rights abuses.  It was unclear how long even those who 
were convicted would stay in jail, in light of credible reports 
that Captain Telmo Hurtado, who had confessed to and was 
convicted for the 1985 Accomarca massacre, had reappeared on 
active duty.

In January when a civilian judge indicted several army 
personnel for the 1992 abduction and execution of nine students 
and a professor from La Cantuta University, the army refused to 
turn the soldiers over to civilian authorities, asserting that 
the military court system had jurisdiction.  While the army 
kept the indictees under military detention, the authorities 
appealed the jurisdiction issue to the Supreme Court in early 
February.  Before the Court could muster the required two-vote 
margin in favor of either civilian or military trial, the 
government majority in Congress passed a bill, subsequently 
signed into law by President Fujimori, that permitted the 
one-vote majority in favor of prosecution in closed military 
court to be sufficient.  The military court convicted nine in 
the case (a general and eight other commissioned and 
noncommissioned officers) and imposed sentences ranging from 4 
to 20 years in prison (one was later acquitted on appeal).  
However, there was no rigorous investigation of allegations 
that higher-level officials had either ordered the killings or 
had covered them up.  Nonetheless, this was only the third time 
since the onset of Sendero terrorism in which any court 
convicted military officers for extrajudicial killings, and 
included the highest ranking officer thus far convicted for 
such offenses.

Sendero Luminoso continued to assassinate civilians, including 
peasants, farmers, villagers, indigenous people, civil 
authorities and public servants, as well as 40 members of the 
security forces.  However, the number of people murdered by 
Sendero declined significantly from 516 in 1993 to 215 in 1994, 
as the security forces continued to capture terrorist leaders.  
In addition, the Coordinadora reported the MRTA responsible for 
22 political assassinations and unidentified subversives 
responsible for 8.  Terrorist bomb attacks killed another 14 
people.  In 17 other deaths, the Coordinadora was unable to 
deduce from available evidence whether the security forces or 
subversives were responsible.  The number of killings committed 
by each side doubtless is underreported because of the 
remoteness of many of the incidents and widespread distrust of 
the authorities and the judicial system.

     b.  Disappearance

The number of reported disappearances in 1994 was the lowest 
since 1982.  The Coordinadora registered only 25 unresolved 
disappearances attributable to the security forces.  This 
apparent reduction resulted from the Government's decision to 
end in late 1992 the tacit reliance on security forces' use of 
disappearances that characterized the previous two governments' 
counterinsurgency practices.  Most of the disappearances 
occurred in areas where the insurgency was most active:  Eight 
in Ucayali department, six in San Martin department, four in 
Lima department and the rest in four other departments.  
However, with disappearances occurring in areas where the 
Coordinadora does not have a permanent presence, these numbers 
are subject to change.  For example, human rights observers 
associated with the Coordinadora discovered that the provincial 
human rights prosecutors based in the cities of Huanuco and 
Huancayo had reported to the Attorney General a higher number 
of 1993 disappearances in their jurisdictions than had been 
previously believed.  The Coordinadora deduced that there may 
have been as many as 168 unresolved disappearances in 1993 
(previous estimates had ranged from 44 to 59).  During the 
latter part of 1994, the Coordinadora was investigating and 
attempting to confirm these reports.  The closure for most of 
the year of Public Ministry human rights offices made it more 
difficult to track disappearances in 1994 than in previous 
years.

As in the past, the majority of complaints about disappearances 
in 1994 implicated members of the security forces in the 
emergency zones.  Testimony from witnesses and survivors 
indicated that the most common scenario was for groups of men 
in civilian attire to abduct individuals and take them to 
military bases for interrogation.  They later turned some over 
to the police for eventual terrorism trials, released others, 
but some never reappeared.

On January 16, Orlando Lopez Villalobos was changing money at a 
hotel in Pucallpa, Ucayali department, when navy personnel 
forced him to give them his money and identity documents.  He 
reported this act to the local Catholic vicar's office, then 
went to the navy base to try to recover his money and papers.  
Lopez was never seen or heard from again.  In another case in 
Pucallpa, navy personnel detained Segundo Fernandez Ferrari on 
March 20 at his home in front of relatives.  He never returned 
home, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Acting on provisions of a decree law issued by President 
Fujimori, Attorney General Blanca Nelida Colan shut down the 
Public Ministry's office of the Special Prosecutor for Human 
Rights, which, among other responsibilities, tracked 
disappearances on a full-time basis.  Government officials 
justified this decision by citing the Constitution's creation 
of a "Defender of the People" office that would also monitor 
human rights.  By year end, the government-controlled Congress 
had not passed enacting legislation for the new office, but it 
did reopen the office of the human rights prosecutor on an 
interim basis in November until the office of the Defender of 
the People is established.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Although the Constitution prohibits torture and inhuman or 
humiliating treatment, torture and brutal treatment of 
detainees are common.  Eyewitnesses and human rights monitors 
reported that government security forces routinely tortured 
suspected subversives at military and police detention 
centers.  Justice Minister Vega acknowledged in November at a 
United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva that 
torture had not yet been eradicated in Peru but asserted that 
reports of torture had declined.

Torture most often takes place in the period immediately 
following detention.  The law permits police to hold a 
terrorism suspect incommunicado for 15 days, and for another 
15-day period in cases of treason (aggravated terrorism).  The 
incidence of torture is high during this time, partly because 
the detainee is not allowed access to family or an attorney 
except when giving sworn statements to the public prosecutor.  
The Government asserts that the more liberal access it 
previously granted resulted in alleged miscarriages of justice 
in favor of detained terrorists.  The law requires that the 
authorities interrogate persons detained for terrorism in the 
presence of a Public Ministry prosecutor, but they frequently 
violate these standards, especially in the emergency zones.  A 
1992 decree law eliminated the requirement that an attorney be 
present during the initial stages of detention and 
interrogation in terrorism or treason cases.  A modification to 
that law, passed in 1993, permits a lawyer to be present when a 
detainee signs any written document, including his or her 
formal statement.

On September 13, the police arrested Maria Elena Foronda, an 
environmentalist working in Chimbote, on suspicion of terrorism 
after a so-called repentant terrorist taking advantage of the 
amnesty law made an accusation against her.  After visiting her 
in jail, Foronda's mother publicly claimed that police had 
beaten Foronda and subjected her to psychological torture in an 
attempt to force her to confess that she was a terrorist.

In early 1994, a Coordinadora delegation visited Picsi prison 
near Chiclayo and interviewed dozens of detainees.  Virtually 
all those interviewed complained that the police had tortured 
them during the interrogation phase of their detentions; 
several women claimed police had raped them.  The Coordinadora 
noted that the incidence of torture was very high at police 
stations but had declined at the prison itself.

Besides beatings, common methods of torture included electric 
shock, water torture, asphyxiation, and hanging detainees on a 
hook from a rope attached to hands tied behind the back.  
Common forms of psychological torture included sleep 
deprivation and death threats against both the detainee and his 
or her family members.  Interrogators almost always blindfolded 
their victims during torture so they could not later identify 
their abusers.

There continued to be credible reports that members of the 
security forces raped women, especially in the emergency 
zones.  Following the alleged army indiscriminate killings of 
civilians in Molluna and Moena in April (see Section 1.g.), 
survivors claimed to have witnessed army personnel committing 
numerous rapes of local women and girls.  In one scene shown on 
television news, a man entered Molluna without the knowledge or 
authorization of the military authorities, accompanied by 
journalists, to search for his 16-year-old daughter after 
troops had left the area.  The state of his daughter's remains 
corroborated the testimony of a witness who told him several 
soldiers had raped her.  Several members of a commission 
sponsored by Congress's human rights committee, including 
representatives of the Consejo por la Paz (Peace Council) and 
the Coordinadora, visited the area and concluded that soldiers 
had carried out at least two rapes.  The authorities took no 
action to investigate or punish military rapists.  According to 
eyewitnesses, on September 22, security forces raided the 
village of Paraiso in San Martin department and raped a woman 
and a 14-year-old girl.  Several days later, the lieutenant who 
conducted the raid reportedly admitted in front of Paraiso 
villagers and his commander in Tocache that he ordered the 
rapes, but he has not been charged in this crime.

Many victims of Sendero terrorism also show signs of having 
been tortured.  Sendero groups normally held a brief "people's 
trial" in the presence of onlookers as a means of intimidation 
before torturing their victims.  There were credible accounts 
that Sendero tortured people to death by means such as slitting 
throats, strangulation, stoning, and burning.  Mutilation of 
the body was common; in the Monterrico massacre, Sendero 
members cut up the bodies of their victims with machetes and 
axes (see Section 1.g.).  In August Sendero sympathizers 
tortured four people they accused of cooperating with the 
police in the town of Llihuari, Huanuco department, for 3 days 
before killing them.

Conditions for many prisoners continued to be poor, although 
the Government made a costly and extensive effort to improve 
existing penal facilities, construct new penitentiaries, and 
ameliorate the physical conditions of detention.  Nonetheless, 
prisoners in many facilities continued to experience unsanitary 
facilities, poor nutrition and health care, and occasionally 
harsh treatment by both prison staff and fellow inmates.  Picsi 
prison near Chiclayo, for example, holds twice the number of 
inmates for which it was designed and has no running water.  
Illegal drugs, tuberculosis, and AIDS are at near-epidemic 
proportions in Lima's Lurigancho prison, the country's largest, 
containing nearly 25 percent of the male prison population.  
The prison in Huancayo is prone to flooding, and electrical 
wires are exposed in various parts of the building.  Detainees, 
held temporarily in windowless cells in Lima's palace of 
justice, are not allowed outside for exercise and fresh air and 
are taken to the bathroom only once a day.

Since prison authorities reestablished control in 1992 in 
prisons formerly managed in all but name by Sendero, 
prisoner-on-prisoner violence and abuse of inmates by prison 
officials appears to have declined.  However, corruption 
continued to be a problem among prison staff, who were 
implicated in offenses such as sexual blackmail, selling 
narcotics and weapons, and arranging escapes.  Prisoners often 
have to bribe guards to get a mattress and report that guards 
subject inmates to beatings, torture, and degrading treatment.

The Government showed a greater willingness to clamp down on 
corruption than in past years.  Prison authorities fired some 
officials at Lima's San Jorge facility for charging money to 
permit relatives to give food and medicine to some inmates.  In 
late September, the authorities removed from duty the warden 
and a number of corrupt police guards at Lurigancho prison.  
The Government built a number of prisons around the country and 
completed renovation of two of the largest facilities for 
terrorism convicts and detainees, Castro Castro in Lima and 
Yanamayo in Puno department.  These projects helped alleviate 
the severe overcrowding in the prison system and improved the 
physical conditions in which many inmates must live.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Constitution, the Criminal Code, and antiterrorist 
legislation delineate the arrest and detention process.  
However, a number of constitutional protections are suspended 
in emergency zones.  For example, security forces do not need 
an arrest warrant; they may legally hold incommunicado those 
detained for treason or terrorism and deny them access to an 
attorney during the interrogation period, except when giving 
formal statements.

In areas not subject to a state of emergency, the law requires 
a judicial warrant for arrest, unless a perpetrator is caught 
in the act.  In addition, the Organic Law of the National 
Police--in contradiction of the Constitution and other laws-- 
permits detention of an individual for any investigation.  The 
authorities must arraign persons arrested within 24 hours (but 
they frequently violate this legal provision, according to 
informed observers), except in cases of terrorism, drug 
trafficking, or espionage, for which the limit is 15 to 30 
days.  If the military is the detaining authority, it must turn 
over detainees to the police within 24 hours (or as soon as 
practicable in remote areas).  The military disregarded this 
law in many cases.

Detainees have the right to choose their own attorney, or the 
Government must provide counsel at no cost.  Often this does 
not occur in practice, and human rights monitors report 
instances in which court clerks (or in one case, an army cook) 
were deputized to stand in as public defenders.  There is no 
functioning bail system, although a form of provisional liberty 
is theoretically available for persons not accused of 
terrorism, espionage, or narcotics offenses.  A 1993 
modification to antiterrorism legislation authorized 
first-instance and superior court judges to order the 
unconditional release of terrorism defendants if there is 
insufficient evidence to bring a case against them.  However, 
judges have not applied this law in practice; rather, persons 
accused of terrorism sometimes must wait until their cases have 
been reviewed and dismissed by the Supreme Court before they 
are freed, a process that often lasts more than a year after 
the defendant's arrest.

Juan Mallea, an evangelical pastor who drove a taxi to help 
support his family, was arrested in July 1993 when he drove a 
customer to a house that was being raided by antiterrorism 
police.  The passenger turned out to be a member of Sendero 
Luminoso; the police accused Mallea of drawing a map found 
inside the house.  They presented him publicly in striped jail 
clothes; Mallea later claimed that the antiterrorism police 
tortured him.  Although independent handwriting experts 
testified that Mallea could not have been the author of the 
map, and despite being acquitted by a circuit court judge, the 
authorities did not free him until April, when the Lima 
superior court finally ruled in his favor.

Another 1993 modification to the antiterrorism laws restored a 
detainee's right to a prompt judicial determination of the 
legality of the detention ("habeas corpus").  In practice, 
however, this has proven to be ineffective; according to human 
rights attorneys, judges have denied the vast majority of such 
requests.

The Public Ministry inaugurated a National Registry of 
Detainees to track cases of persons arrested for terrorism 
offenses.  Both the police and the military must report the 
names of anyone they detain within 24 hours.  The Government 
also formalized the registry statutorily (it had been 
established provisionally in 1992) and created an interagency 
committee to oversee its operation and correct any problems.  
The Registry opened to the public in Lima in February; branch 
offices were inaugurated in Tarapoto, San Martin department, in 
September and in Ayacucho in November.  Some registry users 
have commented that it is incomplete and that the military and 
police frequently do not provide informations on detainees in a 
timely fashion.

Apart from an interruption of its access in northern Huanuco 
department in April (see Section 1.g.), the International 
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) operations proceeded 
normally.  The authorities permitted ICRC representatives to 
visit detainees in any place of detention, including prisons, 
jails, police stations, and military bases.

According to Justice Minister Vega, 80 percent of the country's 
prison population, or 16,000 of the 20,000 prisoners, consisted 
of accused persons awaiting trial.  The special terrorism 
prosecutor's office reported that 4,888 persons awaited trial 
for terrorism or treason as of August 31.  The average delay 
between arrest and civilian trial on criminal or terrorism 
charges was between 26 and 36 months.  However, those tried on 
treason charges by military courts generally wait no longer 
than 40 days between the time of detention and the beginning of 
the trial.

Persons accused of terrorism must remain in custody while 
awaiting trial, no matter how little evidence there is against 
them.  During this time, only immediate family members may 
visit them for a total of 15 minutes per month.  Since the 
antiterrorism decrees took effect in 1992, there were numerous 
instances when the authorities arrested and detained people 
with very weak or no evidence against them.  The police 
arrested Jesus Alfonso Castiglione, the owner and operator of a 
radio station in Huacho, in April 1993 when some of his 
possessions were found in an apartment in another city where a 
known terrorist was captured.  Castiglione had been a tenant in 
the apartment a year before; he had left some of his belongings 
there as a security deposit and was unaware that the owner had 
decided to rent the apartment to someone else after he moved 
out.  Despite the lack of evidence linking him to terrorism, a 
court convicted Castiglione in August, and he began serving a 
20-year sentence while awaiting action on an appeal to the 
Supreme Court.

Although government regulations to end public displays of 
detainees were issued in January 1995, there were numerous 
cases in 1994 in which police or the military presented 
detainees in striped jail clothes to the media as terrorists.  
Occasionally such detainees were acquitted because they were 
innocent or for lack of evidence; many of those acquitted 
charged that they had been stigmatized by these public displays.

There were a number of arbitrary detentions as a result of 
abuse and misapplication of the Terrorist Amnesty Law, which 
Congress repealed effective November 1.  Under its provisions, 
terrorists could have their sentences reduced or suspended if 
they gave authorities the names of terrorist leaders.  This 
plea-bargaining option led many terrorists to accuse innocent 
people of being subversives, and the authorities detained 
hundreds of people around the country solely on the basis of 
such accusations.

The police first arrested journalist Javier Tuanama in October 
1990 and accused him of belonging to MRTA.  After a long 
judicial process, the courts finally acquitted Tuanama in March 
and released him from prison.  However, just after he walked 
out of jail, the police rearrested him on another outstanding 
warrant:  a "repentant" terrorist had accused Tuanama of 
recruiting young people for MRTA in Amazonas department in 
December 1990 (when he was in jail).  A court acquitted Tuanama 
of two charges, but then sentenced him to 10 years in prison 
based on a third charge that he had given refuge to repentant 
MRTA members, despite retractions by the two terrorists who 
accused him.  Tuanama has spent 4 years in prison.

The Government created two separate commissions to review cases 
of people unfairly detained for long periods.  An executive 
branch commission, formed in February and consisting of several 
lawyers, reviews cases of individuals detained on terrorism 
charges.  A second commission, established by the Congress in 
June and installed in December, will review both terrorism and 
criminal cases and recommend presidential "grace" for detainees 
who have waited long periods without a trial and who appear to 
be innocent.

Inconsistencies in the application of the terrorist amnesty law 
were also apparent.  In October, in contravention of the 
anonymity clause in the law, President Fujimori publicly named 
a university rector and a superior court judge as repentant 
terrorists.  The authorities detained the rector, Abner Chavez, 
and the judge, Luis Galindo, for 1 month after Fujimori's 
statement.  After their release Chavez and Galindo denied 
having been Sendero supporters and announced plans to seek 
restitution for having been falsely accused.

Although the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit it, the 
Government did not practice involuntary exile of its citizens.  
Several public figures, however, remained in voluntary exile to 
escape what they perceived to be political persecution.  
Although others claimed they were in exile, they apparently 
fled from what appeared to be legitimate criminal charges.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The Peruvian system of criminal justice is generally based on 
the Napoleonic Code.  A Public Ministry prosecutor investigates 
arrests and criminal complaints and then submits an opinion to 
a first-instance judge, who decides whether to indict.  
Following study of the case, the judge renders a verdict, which 
is then reviewed by a superior court prosecutor.  The superior 
court prosecutor then submits an opinion on the case to a 
superior court judge, who holds a trial.  Terrorism cases, on 
the other hand, are tried by anonymous superior court tribunals 
made up of three judges.  Virtually all civilian court 
convictions are appealed to the Supreme Court.

Defendants have the right to be present at their trial, 
although there were instances of trials in absentia of 
fugitives (however, a 1993 modification to antiterrorism laws 
eliminated convictions in absentia).  Although there were 
trials in absentia, they did not lead to convictions, but to 
acquittals or judgments in reserve until the defendant was in 
custody.  Defendants have the right to counsel, but the 
Government often does not provide the indigent with qualified 
attorneys.  Following an investigation and filing of charges, a 
judge renders a verdict.  Sentences may be appealed to a panel 
of judges.

The judicial branch rarely has been fully independent of the 
executive.  However, the 1993 Constitution contains a number of 
provisions, including an improved system for naming judges, 
that provides for a significantly more independent judiciary.  
President Fujimori provisionally appointed some two-thirds of 
the incumbent judges and prosecutors after he seized 
extraconstitutional powers in 1992.  In 1993 the new Congress 
appointed an independent tribunal to review the 1992 dismissals 
of hundreds of judicial officials, to examine the 
qualifications of President Fujimori's appointees, and to 
replace those found to be unqualified.  By December this 
tribunal completed its review of all the judges and prosecutors 
in Lima.  The tribunal found a large number of provisional 
judges and prosecutors unqualified and replaced them.  Human 
rights groups and independent observers applauded many of the 
changes, and reports of corruption decreased with respect to 
the reformed jurisdictions.  At year's end, judicial officials 
outside Lima had not been reviewed.

The legislative and executive branches openly interfered with 
an ongoing judicial branch action when, in February, they 
approved a law that imposed a new voting formula on Supreme 
Court decisions concerning civil versus military jurisdiction.  
This law in effect gave jurisdiction over a sensitive human 
rights case (the La Cantuta case--see Section 1.a.) to the 
military court system.

There continued to be widespread charges of corruption and of 
suborning of judges, prosecutors, police, and witnesses at all 
stages of the judicial process, although the number of 
complaints in Lima decreased significantly after permanent 
judges were named to the Supreme and superior courts.  
Government efforts to reduce corruption included a salary raise 
for judges and a more active judicial branch control mechanism 
to investigate allegations of bribes.  This office of control 
dismissed 19 career judges and 33 provisional judges for 
misconduct during the year; it fined another 215; and it 
admonished 439 for various irregularities.  The Government's 
1995 budget allocations include a 70 percent real increase in 
funds for the judiciary and a 149 percent real increase for the 
Public Ministry, whose responsibilities will dramatically 
increase once the long-delayed new Criminal Procedures Code is 
brought into force.  The high cost of litigation limited access 
to the judicial system, as did the lack of public judicial 
services in many isolated areas of the country.

Civilian courts made limited progress in tackling the judicial 
backlog, a product of inefficiency, lack of infrastructure and 
personnel, archaic case law and criminal procedure law, and the 
high number of terrorism cases.  According to the National 
Prisons Institute, there were 13,791 detainees awaiting trial 
throughout the country on June 30.  Meanwhile, a backlog of 800 
to 1,000 cases challenging the constitutionality of laws or 
official actions remained pending in the absence of actions to 
establish the Tribunal of Constitutional Guarantees provided 
for in the new Constitution.

Sendero and MRTA threats and intimidation of judges were one of 
the justifications for President Fujimori's overhaul of the 
antiterrorism trial system in 1992.  Civilian courts now try 
terrorism cases in anonymous tribunals made up of three 
"faceless" judges.  An August 1992 decree law classified many 
terrorism cases as treason and therefore triable by military 
courts; the lesser cases are heard by civilian tribunals.  In 
November Justice Minister Vega announced that he had proposed 
an end to the use of faceless judges to try civilians accused 
of terrorism, an end to military tribunal jurisdiction over 
civilians, and an end to the trial by faceless judges of minors 
charged with terrorism.  These proposals were before the 
Council of Ministers at year's end.

Between September 1992 and August 1994, according to the 
official government newspaper, the military courts remanded 122 
cases to civilian jurisdiction after finding that there was not 
enough evidence to try some individuals for treason.  Informed 
observers believe that antiterrorism police in effect decide 
which cases are tried in military courts and which are tried in 
civilian courts.  According to various human rights observers, 
approximately 80 percent of treason trials in military courts 
resulted in convictions; civilian terrorism tribunals, in 
contrast, convict only around 60 percent.  Treason convictions 
carry sentences from 30 years to life in prison; there were 217 
persons serving life sentences for treason at the end of 1994.

Proceedings in military courts do not meet internationally 
accepted standards for due process.  Military trials are closed 
to the public and carried out in secrecy.  Defense attorneys do 
not have access to the evidence, nor can they interview police 
or military witnesses (to protect their identities) prior to or 
during the trial.  Military judges rarely have any legal 
background; they are active duty line officers.  However, 
military justice system officials say they are making efforts 
to increase the number of judges with legal backgrounds.  
Military tribunals in theory must pass judgment within 10 
days.  A case may be appealed to the War Council, which has 10 
days to make a decision.  A final appeal to the Supreme Council 
of Military Justice must be acted on within 5 days.  However, 
this calendar is subject to delays in a number of cases.  Human 
rights groups charge that military trials have railroaded some 
defendants and sentenced them before their lawyers were even 
notified that the trial had begun.

Statistics for military prosecutions of civilians suggested 
greater care and selectivity in the application of treason laws 
to the most serious cases.  In 1994 military courts prosecuted 
civilians in 356 treason cases compared to 315 in 1993, but 
imposed life sentences on 72 persons, compared to 117 in 1993.  
Although the proceedings in military courts for all practical 
purposes are summary, not all those prosecuted are convicted.  
The military courts acquitted defendants in 7 cases and 
remanded 53 cases to civil authorities.  The Government has 
publicly recognized that military trials of civilians are a 
temporary, extraordinary measure out of step with international 
norms, to be reformed as soon as the situation in its judgment 
permits.  The authorities also began a review process of 
military trials.  In late 1993, this review process absolved 
Miguel Ruiz-Conejo, who had been wrongly convicted of treason 
in a military court, and ordered his release.  In 1994 a 
special military tribunal annulled five life sentences after 
discovering procedural and other errors in reviewing those 
trials.

In late April, the Government postponed indefinitely 
implementation of a new Criminal Procedures Code that was to 
have taken effect on May 1.  The new Code would have instituted 
accusatorial investigative and trial procedures.  Instead, the 
Government established an interagency commission to "reconcile" 
the Code with the 1993 Constitution and present the Congress 
with a plan for the gradual application of the revised Code.  
Informed observers claimed that the Government postponed the 
Code's implementation because the National Police were unhappy 
with provisions that would grant more investigative authority 
to prosecutors; because the armed forces opposed a provision 
that would mean prosecution of military personnel in civilian 
court for crimes such as murder that do not come under the 
Military Code of Justice; and because the Public Ministry was 
not prepared in terms of budget or personnel to put the new 
Code into practice.

In 1993 an international panel of distinguished jurists visited 
Peru and studied the legal and judicial system to determine 
whether or not there was adequate due process, particularly in 
terrorism trials.  The panel recommended eliminating military 
trials of civilians and reintroducing precepts of due process 
suspended by the 1992 antiterrorism decrees.  When the jurists 
made their report public in April, President Fujimori and his 
Justice Minister rejected it as interference in Peru's internal 
affairs.  The Government maintained that further changes in the 
law and procedures used in treason and terrorism cases must be 
linked to progress in pacification, as well as to reform of the 
judicial branch.  The jurists' report stimulated a serious 
public debate.

The new Constitution provides for several new judicial 
institutions to help create a more effective and independent 
system of justice:  an Office of the Defender of the People (a 
human rights ombudsman); a Tribunal of Constitutional 
Guarantees (which would rule on the constitutionality of 
legislation and government actions); the National Judiciary 
Council (a permanent, independent entity in charge of testing, 
naming, confirming, and periodically evaluating and 
disciplining the country's judges and prosecutors); and a 
Judicial Academy (to train judges and prosecutors).  The 
Congress passed legislation to define the structure and 
functions of only the last two institutions; it had not 
established the other entities by the end of the year, but did 
create the Tribunal of Constitutional Guarantees in January 
1995.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The Constitution requires security forces to have a judicial 
warrant to enter a private dwelling, but this requirement is 
suspended in the emergency zones, and security forces in those 
areas routinely conduct searches of private homes without 
warrants.  The law requires that a Public Ministry prosecutor 
be present during searches.  There were plausible reports that, 
on occasion, police planted subversive pamphlets in the homes 
of persons they suspected of terrorism but could not otherwise 
arrest for lack of evidence.  There were frequent credible 
reports of illegal telephone wiretaps.  In August and 
September, several prominent journalists, opposition 
politicians, and retired military officers made credible claims 
that the Government's intelligence services followed them, 
videotaped them, and recorded their private conversations.

In Lima and other urban areas, the army conducted "sweep" 
operations in which soldiers surrounded and sealed off targeted 
neighborhoods to conduct house-to-house searches.  They 
detained persons wanted for a crime and held for questioning 
those found with unregistered weapons, subversive material, or 
without identity documents.  Public prosecutors routinely 
accompany these operations, and citizens made few complaints of 
serious abuses stemming from them.

A number of rural communities--with arms, training, and 
encouragement from the army--have organized self-defense 
forces, or rondas, to protect themselves against terrorist and 
bandit incursions.  These have had a noticeable impact on 
curbing Sendero's presence in certain areas of the country.  In 
some parts of Peru, rondas have existed for centuries as a form 
of social organization and to protect communities from invaders 
and rustlers.  However, military authorities organized many of 
the newer rondas and sometimes coerced peasants into 
participating.  As a regular practice and to a far greater 
degree, Sendero also forced peasants to join its military 
ranks, often for extended periods, coercing their participation 
in terrorist attacks and executions.

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

Although the Government stated that its security forces did not 
have a policy of indiscriminate violence against civilians, 
army troops nevertheless killed an undetermined number of 
noncombatants in the Upper Huallaga valley.  Between March 29 
and March 31, according to witnesses who testified before the 
local prosecutor, an army patrol detained and then killed 
between 8 and 12 villagers in Cayumba Chico, south of the city 
of Tingo Maria in Huanuco department.  The army also began to 
deny access to the zone north of Tingo Maria and west of the 
Huallaga river to delegates of the ICRC.  In the course of a 
claimed major sweep between April 5 and April 8, members of the 
army, using both helicopters and ground troops, entered the 
settlements of Molluna and Moena and, according to similar, 
credible accounts by numerous eyewitnesses, indiscriminately 
killed most of the population.  In some cases rape and torture 
preceded the killing.  The army reportedly fired rockets from 
helicopters at the settlements.

The exact number of dead was difficult to determine because the 
army closed the zone to nonmilitary personnel for 7 weeks, 
during which time remains could have been moved or buried, and 
because many of the residents were transient farm workers whose 
only relatives were unlikely to report them as missing.  The 
Coordinadora decided to list only 25 persons as victims of the 
army operation--the only ones who could be identified by name, 
based on eyewitness reports and identified remains.  The armed 
forces, the Congress, and the Attorney General's office 
undertook investigations into these killings.  In November a 
special prosecutor responsible for investigating this incident 
brought charges in a civilian court against an army captain for 
ordering the deaths of at least eight persons.  The army 
subsequently undertook other large-scale operations in other 
regions of the country without new claims of abuses, possibly 
indicating that commanders made a conscious effort to avoid 
what happened in April.

Although both the army and Sendero Luminoso violated 
humanitarian law in Peru's internal conflict, the latter was 
responsible for many more heinous violations than the former.  
Sendero frequently used arbitrary violence against civilians 
and nonmilitary targets.  It continued to detonate powerful 
bombs in public places, indiscriminately killing and injuring 
dozens of bystanders, and persisted in its practice of entering 
villages and killing residents.  Many of the victims were 
unarmed women and children.  Terrorist bomb attacks perpetrated 
by Sendero and MRTA killed 14 people and injured 86.

In April, in one of its more gruesome massacres, a Sendero 
Luminoso column entered the village of Monterrico in the 
Mazamari district of Junin department, burned down houses, and 
tortured and beheaded 18 residents.  In the same area in August 
residents discovered graves of several Ashaninka Indians 
believed to have been killed by Sendero (see also Section 5).

In armed confrontations, Sendero never took prisoners or 
attended to the wounded; its normal aim was to kill as many 
people as possible.  Sendero also practiced forced military 
conscription of both adults and children.  The law prohibits 
military conscription of children, and government forces 
respected this prohibition.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and freedom of 
the press.  While the Government generally respected this 
provision, there were many instances when government officials 
or members of the security forces harassed media 
representatives.  The Government also used its economic power 
and the legal system to exert influence over the media.

The media represent a wide spectrum of information and opinion, 
with 8 television stations, 3 cable systems, 72 radio stations, 
and 16 daily newspapers in Lima alone.  The media regularly 
criticize the Government and its policies.  The Government owns 
a television network, a daily newspaper, and a radio station, 
none of which is particularly influential.

Opposition political parties and factions have access to the 
media.  Television stations, although generally progovernment, 
provide regular access to opposition figures on a variety of 
news and public affairs programs.  The written press is defined 
by extremes, with many leading newspapers and magazines either 
strongly for or against the Government.

The Government took steps to eliminate the applicability to the 
media of the Constitution's "habeas data" provision.  This 
legal mechanism gives citizens the right to demand 
rectification for articles or reports they consider slanderous.
Many journalists viewed this provision as a potential tool to 
censor and harass the press.  As a result of these concerns, 
the government majority in Congress voted 56 to 1 on August 18 
to remove from the Constitution the portion of the "habeas 
data" clause related to the press.  Local journalists praised 
this action, as did the Inter-American Press Society which 
called the vote "an important step towards full observance of 
press freedom."  However, the measure will not become law until 
the Congress approves it a second time in a subsequent 
legislative session and the President signs it.

On several isolated occasions, government officials took 
measures that interfered with press freedom.  On April 15, 
President Fujimori personally ordered a Reuter television crew 
to erase video footage it had taken during his visit to a 
maximum security prison in Puno, which showed Sendero Luminoso 
prisoners reading a statement about their support for a then 
secret peace letter.  The foreign correspondents' association 
protested the action but received no response from the 
Government.

Also in April, the military justice system indicted six retired 
generals on charges of "insulting the armed forces."  The 
retired officers had, in various press interviews, criticized 
decisions by the army leadership.  Despite their retired 
status, they were subjected to court-martial.  In addition, a 
military court summoned a journalist for the opposition daily 
La Republica in April to explain his February 13 interview with 
one of the indicted generals who had criticized the army's 
handling of the La Cantuta case.

On April 30, army personnel arrested and beat radio journalist 
Cesar Flores in Huanta, Ayacucho department.  The day before, 
Flores had denounced the army's mistreatment of another 
journalist.  The army held Flores at the local army base for 6 
days on trumped-up charges that he had not done his obligatory 
military duty.

In March a Lima radio journalist began receiving anonymous 
telephone calls threatening him with death if he did not stop 
criticizing the Government.  When the journalist complained to 
police, they sent him official notices to appear for 
interrogation regarding alleged terrorist actions that had 
occurred in far-off provinces.  The harassment stopped after 
international human rights monitors expressed interest in the 
case.

On September 2, the commander of the first military region, 
army Lieutenant General Howard Rodriguez, ordered his staff to 
expose the film of a La Republica photographer who had shot 
footage showing the General handing out calendars and posters 
of President Fujimori.  General Rodriguez also allegedly 
threatened the reporter.  Although observers agreed that the 
General's original activities constituted a probable violation 
of the constitutionally mandated political neutrality of the 
armed forces, the authorities took no action against him.

The authorities continued to detain 15 journalists for trial on 
terrorism charges at the end of 1994; the courts acquitted 
13 others of terrorism charges during the year.  However, their 
detentions did not appear to be the result of a government 
policy to persecute journalists.

The Government also exercises substantial influence over the 
media through the placement of advertisements.  Some media 
owners claim that the Government also encourages private 
advertisers to boycott opposition publications and uses tax 
investigations to harass the opposition media.  Many media 
owners are involved in other economic activities that require 
government licensing or involve bidding on government 
contracts.  All these factors result in a degree of self- 
censorship, particularly in the broadcast media.

The Government often restricted opposition media access by 
refusing to send news releases and other information to some 
magazines and limiting access to official transportation when 
the President visited remote parts of the country or traveled 
to other nations.  However, after widespread criticism of the 
secrecy that characterized the army's April sweep operation in 
Huanuco department, the military authorities began to report 
publicly on a more regular basis the results of their 
operations.

The Government also used the legal system to keep opposition 
journalists off balance.  Enrique Zileri, publisher of the 
opposition weekly magazine Caretas, was subject to a judicial 
order to seize his possessions in July.  The judge who signed 
the order immediately took a vacation, leaving a substitute 
judge to carry out the action.  The attempted seizure resulted 
from accusations by a convicted felon who objected to his name 
being used in a Caretas story on drug trafficking.  The case 
had supposedly ended some time earlier, when the superior court 
had ruled in Zileri's favor, yet somehow a second case for the 
same alleged offense was initiated.  Last-minute action by 
Zileri and his attorney prevented the police contingent that 
appeared on his doorstep from enforcing the seizure.  An 
editorial in the July 27 edition of the conservative daily 
newspaper El Comercio said the case had "awakened suspicions" 
about the "series of intimidating actions taken against" 
members of the political opposition.

As with other sectors of society, the media were not immune to 
Sendero Luminoso attacks.  The most notorious example of 
Sendero violence against the media occurred on March 14, when 
the house of Patricio Ricketts, a columnist with the daily 
newspaper Expreso, was bombed.  The attack, which killed a 
passerby and wounded Ricketts' daughter, appeared to be in 
retaliation for a Ricketts column titled "Sendero is 
annihilated," which had appeared in Expreso the previous day.  
Officials at Channel 2, the most progovernment television 
station (and the site of a 1992 Sendero car-bombing), also 
reported receiving regular Sendero threats.  Even opposition- 
leaning Channel 9 arranged for a group of soldiers to occupy a 
floor of its central office building as a form of insurance 
against Sendero attacks.

The Government generally respected academic freedom as long as 
it did not involve direct confrontation with security 
practices.  The Government usually does not interfere in the 
teaching, discussion, or publication of a variety of opinions; 
however, all forms of indoctrination by subversive groups are 
prohibited, and teachers who express support of terrorist 
ideology are subject to prosecution.

Sendero and, to a lesser extent, MRTA, have for a long time 
used threats and abuse against faculty, staff, and students in 
an effort to gain control of a number of universities.  
However, since the military took control of campus security at 
several universities in 1991 and 1992, the terrorist groups 
have maintained a lower profile.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution expressly provides for these rights, and the 
authorities normally respect them in practice, except in areas 
under a state of emergency (where the right of assembly is 
suspended).  Public meetings in plazas or streets require 
advance permission, which may be denied only for reasons of 
public safety or health.  Municipal authorities usually 
approved permits for demonstrations in Lima and nonemergency 
zones.  Unauthorized public meetings occurred, and the police 
occasionally used clubs, tear gas, and water cannons to break 
up marches or disperse large crowds, sometimes using excessive 
force.  The police interrupted both unruly and peaceful 
gatherings this way in Lima, using these tactics against 
striking public service workers, small political rallies, and a 
march by students protesting human rights violations.  In 
October police fired on a union march by dock workers in the 
port city of Callao, wounding two protesters.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the 
Government respects this provision in practice.  The 
Constitution recognizes Roman Catholicism "as an important 
element in the historical, cultural, and moral development of 
the nation," but also establishes the separation of church and 
State.  Conversion to other religions is respected, and 
missionaries are allowed to enter the country and proselytize.

Sendero Luminoso rejects religion and continued to threaten and 
intimidate religious workers.  In addition to threats, Sendero 
terrorists threw a stick of dynamite at a Mormon chapel in 
Chilca in June.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The Constitution provides for the right of free movement, and 
there are no political or legal constraints on foreign travel 
or emigration.  However, the authorities can restrict people 
with pending criminal and, in some cases, civil charges from 
leaving the country.  Freedom of movement is suspended in the 
emergency zones but is generally permitted under control of the 
army.  Nonetheless, the authorities may detain travelers in the 
emergency zones at any time.  During the army's operation in 
northern Huanuco department in April, the army closed a zone 
north of Tingo Maria and west of the Huallaga river for several 
weeks (see Section 1.g.).

The Constitution prohibits the revocation of citizenship.  
Repatriates (both voluntary and involuntary) are not treated 
any differently than other citizens.  Peru has provisions for 
granting asylum and refugee status; the procedures have been 
used by small groups of persons in recent years, principally 
Cubans.  Refugees are not forced to return to countries in 
which they fear persecution.

On occasion, Sendero tried to interrupt free movement within 
the country, conducting "armed strikes" during which civilians 
were told to stay home or risk reprisals.  Public and private 
vehicles operating during such strikes were subject to attack.  
Sendero's armed strikes were significantly less successful in 
1994 than in previous years.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The Constitution provides for the right of citizens to choose 
and change the laws and officials that govern them, and 
citizens exercise this right in practice.  Voting is mandatory 
by secret ballot for all citizens between the ages of 18 and 
70; however, prisoners and members of the armed forces and 
police are ineligible to vote.  The law bars only groups that 
advocate violent overthrow of the Government from participating 
in the political process.  The Fujimori administration 
tolerated opposition groups representing a wide variety of 
opinion and ideology and did not hinder them from criticizing 
the Government.

The campaign for the 1995 presidential and congressional 
elections began in late 1994.  Under a provision of the new 
Constitution, President Fujimori will seek reelection.  In 
October an unprecedented 26 political groups representing a 
wide political spectrum launched presidential bids, though the 
independent National Elections Board disqualified nearly half 
for failure to meet registration requirements.

Opposition politicians, human rights groups, and the media all 
complained of the incumbent's unfettered access to government 
resources to promote his candidacy.  There were already a 
limited number of reports of instances of irregularities in the 
campaign, such as government harassment of, and spying on, 
opposition members.  Nevertheless, opposition candidates were 
able to campaign across the country and hold rallies (including 
in the government-declared emergency zones), buy 
advertisements, and speak freely to the press.

There are no laws that restrict women and minorities from 
participating in government and politics; both women and 
minorities (including indigenous people), for example, are 
represented in the Congress and some senior government 
leadership positions.  There are 7 congresswomen out of 
80 members.  Two of the 14 cabinet ministers and several vice 
ministers are women, as is the Attorney General and a supreme 
court justice.  Four of the 26 people declaring candidacies in 
the 1995 presidential campaign were women, though 2 failed to 
meet election board requirements, and 1 later withdrew.

President Fujimori is from a racial minority.  There are two or 
three indigenous congressmen, and one recent vice president was 
a Quechua speaker.  There are some indigenous prosecutors, and 
one of the declared presidential candidates is a Quechua 
speaker from Ancash.  However, it is difficult for indigenous 
people to reach the highest leadership levels in both the 
public and private sectors.  Discrimination has often led to 
exclusion of these groups from leadership positions in 
government and business (see Section 5).

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Government allowed numerous nongovernmental organizations 
(NGO's) dedicated to monitoring and advancing human rights to 
operate independently, although government officials often 
criticized them.  The military often restricted the ability of 
local and international human rights workers to investigate 
human rights abuses; the Government usually ignored human 
rights groups' requests for information; and it prohibited many 
human rights monitors--but not the ICRC--from visiting key 
prisons.  Verbal attacks by the Government against both 
domestic and international human rights monitors suggested a 
hardening of the Fujimori administration's attitude toward the 
role of NGO's (especially those associated with foreigners) in 
bringing human rights abuses to public attention.  Legitimate 
fears of physical attack by Sendero severely limited the 
ability of human rights monitors to carry out their work.

The vast majority of Peruvian human rights NGO's are 
independent and generally objective in their views.  Several 
private human rights groups joined in 1985 to form an umbrella 
organization known as the National Coordinating Committee for 
Human Rights, or Coordinadora.  Over 40 groups from around the 
country are either voting or observer members of the 
Coordinadora.  The Coordinadora maintains a policy of not 
mixing politics with human rights (although its individual 
members may occasionally do so, but not under the 
Coordinadora's name), and its members function as credible, 
thorough, and impartial observers.  The previously established 
dialog between the Government and the Coordinadora stalled over 
dissatisfaction with progress on key agenda items and Congress' 
action in the La Cantuta case.

Local groups repeatedly denounced Sendero Luminoso as the 
largest violator of human rights in Peru, while simultaneously 
documenting the many violations by government forces.  In fact, 
strong documentary evidence proves that Coordinadora members 
have been balanced in their denunciations of abuses by both 
sides.  Nevertheless, President Fujimori, other government 
officials, members of the business community, and the 
progovernment press often unfairly accused human rights groups 
of being defenders of terrorism and of criticizing only 
government abuses, not those of Sendero.  For example, in 
January government-party Congresswoman Martha Chavez called for 
greater congressional oversight of NGO's on the grounds that 
some of them were allegedly "financing terrorism."  However, 
she produced no evidence to prove her accusation.  The 
Coordinadora and other organizations responded by noting that 
by law their accounting was transparent and proved that they 
were not channeling funds to terrorist groups.

In April the Government's public attacks on human rights groups 
stepped up as those groups denounced the reported army killings 
in sweep operations in Huanuco department.  President Fujimori 
criticized human rights organizations, claiming they had not 
denounced human rights violations by terrorists.  Health 
Minister Jaime Freundt publicly accused human rights NGO's of 
defending Sendero Luminoso.  In addition to reversing for 
7 weeks the policy of allowing the ICRC access to the zone 
where the operation took place, the political-military 
commander of the Huallaga front, where the Huanuco killings 
took place, alleged to the media in April that the ICRC was 
collaborating with terrorists.  Finally, on April 27, the 
government-controlled Congress passed a resolution condemning 
the Coordinadora for supposedly lying and exaggerating its 
denunciations of the Huanuco killings and thereby "damaging the 
image and prestige of Peru."

In early May, a Ministry of the Presidency official, Dora 
Solari, and a government-party congressman, Hugo Zamatta, 
without offering proof, accused unnamed NGO's of having links 
to terrorism.  Also in May executive branch officials, 
including President Fujimori and Justice Minister Vega, 
boycotted a visit by Pierre Sane, the Secretary General of 
Amnesty International; Vega wrote to Sane before the visit 
telling him he was not welcome in Peru.  Executive branch 
officials also refused to meet with a human rights delegation 
from the New York Bar Association and would not permit the 
delegates to visit any of the country's prisons.  In late 
September, President Fujimori again criticized international 
human rights organizations, alleging that they were "defending 
the human rights of terrorists and not the public."  A few days 
later, the Congress passed a motion authorizing its oversight 
committee to investigate NGO's use of funds.  In December 
President Fujimori publicly labeled the Coordinadora as 
terrorist accomplices for its alleged "complicitous silence."  
In a spirited public rebuttal the next day, the Coordinadora 
Executive Secretary pointed out that since its foundation the 
Coordinadora had condemned acts committed by Sendero and MRTA.

Some human rights workers were the subject of threats and 
harassment from unknown sources.  One, who worked for a 
Lima-based human rights group and a local radio station, 
received repeated anonymous telephone calls advising him to 
stop criticizing the Government or he would be killed.  In 
October a judge issued an arrest warrant for another human 
rights monitor working for a church group in Chimbote because 
he was reportedly associated with two environmentalists 
detained on terrorism charges.  Human rights groups affirmed 
the innocence of both the environmentalists and the monitor.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution provides for equal rights for all citizens and 
specifically prohibits discrimination based on ethnic origin, 
race, gender, language, religion, opinion, or economic 
condition.  Nevertheless, discrimination against women and 
minorities is extensive.  Discrimination based on sexual 
preference is also frequent.  According to Peru's only gay 
rights group, the Homosexual Movement of Lima, gays and 
lesbians are often the target of harassment by police, who 
rarely investigate hate crimes against them.  On August 11, 
police raided a gay bar in Lima, allegedly beat some of the 
patrons, and arrested 76 people without making any charges.  
They held some of the customers in custody for 7 hours before 
releasing them.

     Women

The Constitution grants women equality with men, and laws on 
marriage, divorce, and property rights do not discriminate 
against women.  Nevertheless, tradition often impedes access by 
women to leadership roles in major social, business, and 
political institutions.  However, there is a small but growing 
number of women in leadership positions in the Government (see 
Section 3).

Violence against women, including rape and spousal abuse, is a 
chronic problem, according to local women's groups and law 
enforcement offices.  On average there were 326 complaints of 
violence against women per month, according to these sources.  
In the last 10 years, there were over 59,600 reported cases of 
violence against women; many additional cases, however, go 
unreported.  There are special women's police stations in Lima 
and other major cities to deal with the rising number of 
complaints of domestic violence.  In addition, women's groups 
have established legal aid and health centers for women.  
Judicial authorities do take legal action against perpetrators 
of domestic violence.  However, one of the reasons that special 
women's police stations were established was that regular 
policemen often do not take seriously accusations by women 
against their husbands.  Although the Government has passed 
strong legislation against domestic violence, this is not 
always translated into action at lower levels, especially 
outside the major cities.

Although prohibited by law, sexual harassment in the workplace 
is a common problem.  According to a study by the Flora Tristan 
Women's Center, 62 percent of working women knew of cases of 
sexual harassment in the workplace.  Women's groups assert that 
this problem is on the rise and is exacerbated by the country's 
high rate of unemployment.

Sendero Luminoso also targeted women's organizations, claiming 
that communal kitchens and the "glass of milk" program--managed 
principally by women--have links with the Government.

     Children

The Government does not adequately address children's human 
rights and welfare.  President Fujimori has on numerous 
occasions emphasized the need to improve education at all 
levels, but the Government does not provide sufficient funding 
for the public schools.  Millions of children suffer from 
malnutrition and live in extreme poverty.  In addition, minors 
can be tried as adults for terrorism offenses (see below).

A large percentage of children are born out of wedlock; many 
fathers fail to support their children.  In addition, orphans 
have become common, due in large part to the guerrilla war; one 
newspaper estimated the number of war orphans at 55,000.  It is 
not unusual for indigent parents to give up their children, 
either through adoption or by sending them away as house 
servants.  In Lima alone, there are thousands of homeless, 
orphaned, or abandoned children.  Many children are forced to 
work in the informal economy to support themselves; according 
to the Movement of Children of Christian Workers, the number of 
children under the age of 16 obliged to work exceeds 200,000.

Violence against children is a serious problem.  Approximately 
half of all rapes are perpetrated against minors.  According to 
the director of Lima's children's hospital, 600,000 children 
have been the victims of abandonment and physical violence.

Decree Law 25564, issued by President Fujimori in June 1992, 
provides for minors aged 15 to 18 to be tried as adults for 
terrorism offenses.  The law was issued in response to 
Sendero's frequent use of minors in acts of terrorism.  Several 
dozen minors are awaiting trial or serving time in various 
prisons.  In October 1993, the Children's Rights Committee of 
the United Nations reported that Peruvian minors accused of 
terrorism "do not benefit from the safeguards or guarantees 
normally offered by the juvenile administration of justice 
system."

Although hampered by a lack of resources, the Government has 
taken some measures to safeguard children's rights.  For 
example, in February the Government stiffened the penalties for 
rape and violence against children; conviction of rape of a 
minor can now mean life imprisonment, depending on the 
circumstances.  The Justice Ministry administers several 
children's defense centers around the country which work to 
protect the rights of children and deal with cases of violence 
against minors.  In 1994 training for police officers included 
a course on children's rights.  In addition the Government 
announced it would build 30 to 40 homes for orphaned and 
abandoned children; it inaugurated one of these shelters in 
Lima in September.

     Indigenous People

The 1993 Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race 
and guarantees the right of all citizens to speak their native 
language.  However, Peru's large indigenous population faces 
pervasive discrimination and social prejudice, in addition to 
suffering many of the severe human rights abuses cited in this 
report.  Because of geographic isolation, government 
centralization, lack of organization, and social 
marginalization, indigenous people are in general unable to 
participate in decisions affecting their lands, cultures, 
traditions, and the allocation of natural resources.  These 
decisions are made by the central Government in Lima.  
Particularly in the jungle regions, colonists, coca 
cultivators, guerrillas, and business interests steadily 
encroach on native lands, many seeking to exploit natural 
resources.  Indigenous groups fear that Articles 88 and 89 of 
the Constitution, which assign to the State any native lands 
"in abandonment," will mean the loss and sale to commercial 
interests of traditional land.  Some Amazon groups have 
expressed concern over the possible effects on their 
communities and the environment of oil and gas exploration in 
the Camisea area.  Malnutrition and disease are rampant among 
many of these tribes.

The law generally protects the civil and political rights of 
indigenous people to the same extent as the rights of other 
citizens.  However, many indigenous groups live in isolated 
areas, which affect the Government's ability to offer them 
services, security, and enforcement and protection of civil and 
political rights.

The largest indigenous groups are speakers of Quechua and 
Aymara (recognized as official languages), but there are dozens 
of smaller native language groups.  Indigenous people lack 
access to public services and support in their native lands, 
and investment is focused largely on the coast.  The 
Government's lack of investment in traditional indigenous areas 
has been aggravated in recent years by the presence of Sendero 
Luminoso in many such places.

Sendero Luminoso remains by far the most egregious violator of 
the rights of indigenous people.  It continued to target 
violence against the Ashaninka tribe in Peru's central jungle.  
The Coordinadora estimated that between 20 and 40 Ashaninka 
communities have disappeared as a result of Sendero violence, 
and that more than 10,000 Ashaninkas have been displaced.  As 
many as 3,000 Ashaninkas may be trapped in zones under Sendero 
oppression.  In late August, unconfirmed reports indicated that 
common graves with the bodies of Ashaninka natives were 
discovered; the authorities said they believed the graves may 
contain the remains of victims of Sendero violence.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Peru's population includes several small racial minorities, the 
largest of which are blacks of African descent and Asians.  
Blacks, who tend to be concentrated along the coast, face 
particularly pervasive discrimination and social prejudice and 
are among the poorest groups in Peru.  This discrimination 
excludes blacks from leadership roles in government, military, 
and business institutions.  Both the navy and the air force 
reportedly have unwritten policies that exclude blacks from the 
officer corps.  According to Peru's two black human rights 
groups, police routinely detain persons of African descent on 
suspicion of committing crimes for no other reason than the 
color of their skin, and police rarely act on complaints of 
crime against blacks.  The human rights groups also note that 
blacks tend to be relegated to servants' jobs; the few blacks 
who have been relatively successful financially have done so in 
the sports and entertainment fields.

     People with Disabilities

Although the Constitution states that disabled persons "have 
the rights to respect of their dignity and to a regime of 
protection, attention, readaptation and security," the 
Government spends relatively little on assisting the 
handicapped or preventing discrimination against them.  There 
is little public infrastructure with facilities for people with 
disabilities, such as wheelchair ramps on streets or in 
buildings, and no law mandating access for them.  Disabled 
persons face discrimination when seeking employment; many are 
reduced to begging in the streets.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The new Constitution recognizes the right to organize a trade 
union, to engage in collective negotiations, and to strike.  
These rights are to be exercised democratically, and the State 
is to promote the peaceful resolution of labor disputes.  The 
Constitution states, however, that the right to strike must 
take into account broader social interests.  It also states 
that employers may not require membership or nonmembership in a 
union as a condition of employment.

About 7 percent of the estimated 8.5 million persons in the 
work force belong to organized labor unions.  Up to 
three-quarters of Peruvian workers work in the informal sector 
of the economy, which operates largely beyond government 
supervision and taxation.  Existing unions represent a 
cross-section of political opinion.  Though some unions have 
been traditionally associated with political groups, unions are 
prohibited by law from engaging in explicitly political, 
religious, or profit-making activities.  There are no 
restrictions on membership in international bodies.

Workers from organized trades, teachers, and government unions 
struck more frequently than in 1993, seeking benefits in 
accordance with the improved economic situation they perceive.  
Reprisals against striking workers are reportedly infrequent.

Union members and officials have been targets of terrorist 
assassination and intimidation attempts.  The labor movement 
and its leaders have been generally hostile to terrorist groups 
and have fought to prevent or reduce terrorist infiltration 
into the labor movement; however, the Government detained some 
union officials suspected of terrorist links.

In March the International Labor Organization (ILO) Committee 
of Experts' annual review of compliance with ILO conventions 
criticized a number of restrictive practices and asked the 
Government to take initiatives to amend its labor legislation 
so as to bring it into conformity with the conventions to which 
Peru is a party.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Although the Constitution recognizes the right of public and 
private workers to organize, bargain collectively, and strike, 
it states that these rights must be exercised in harmony with 
broader social interests.  It excludes public employees 
exercising management or decisionmaking authority, as well as 
members of the police and military, from the right to organize 
or strike.  However, both judiciary branch and Lima municipal 
workers conducted strikes in late 1994 to protest salary and 
working conditions.

Labor regulations promulgated prior to the 1993 approval of the 
new Constitution provide that workers can form unions based on 
profession, employment, or geographic location.  The 
regulations exclude temporary, probationary, apprentice, or 
management employees from union membership.  They require a 
minimum of 100 members to form trade unions by branch of 
activity, occupation, or for various occupations; and a minimum 
of 20 workers to form a union within a company.  They also 
limit the number of union officials, the amount of time they 
may devote to union business on company time, and require them 
to be active members of the union.

Labor regulations set the number of union representatives who 
can participate in collective bargaining negotiations (a 
minimum of 3, maximum of 12), and establish the negotiating 
timetable.  The management negotiating team cannot exceed the 
size of the workers' team; both sides may have attorneys and 
professional experts in attendance as advisers.  A majority of 
all workers in a company, whether union members or not, must 
approve a strike by a secret ballot.  A second vote must be 
taken upon petition of 20 percent or more of the workers.

The law permits companies unilaterally to propose temporary 
changes of work schedules, conditions, and wages and to suspend 
for up to 90 days collective bargaining agreements if required 
by force majeure or economic conditions, provided they give 15 
days' notice to employees.  If workers dispute the proposed 
changes, the Labor Ministry is to resolve the dispute based 
upon criteria of "reasonableness" and "economic necessity."  In 
such cases employers are to authorize vacation time and in 
general adopt measures that avoid aggravating the employment 
situation.

A conciliation and arbitration system resolves disputes in 
collective bargaining impasses, but union officials complain 
that their proportionate share of the cost of arbitration 
exceeds their resources.  They also state that increasing 
numbers of companies utilize a policy of hiring workers on 
temporary, personal services contracts to prevent union 
affiliation.  This has become an issue of contention between 
organized labor and employers and is one of several concerns 
that labor has raised in international forums.  Employers deny 
the accusation of antiunion bias and assert that labor 
stability provisions of the law have made long-term commitments 
to workers too expensive.

The law does not prohibit antiunion discrimination, and there 
are no effective measures to resolve such complaints.  No legal 
provisions require employers who commit antiunion discrimination
to reinstate workers fired for union activities.

Special regulations permitting greater flexibility in 
application for the Labor Code in export and duty free zones 
provide for the use of temporary labor as needed, flexibility 
in labor contracts, and a wage system based upon supply and 
demand.  As a result, workers in duty free zones are unable to 
unionize.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution prohibits forced or compulsory labor, as well 
as imprisonment for debt.  However, there are periodic reports 
of the practice of forced labor in remote mountainous Andean 
and Amazonian jungle regions of the country.  In response to 
one complaint filed with the ILO, the Government acknowledged 
the existence of such practices and asserted it had taken 
measures to end abuses, such as closing down and fining 
clandestine recruitment agencies and opening a labor and social 
welfare office in Huaypetue, where forced labor abuses had 
occurred.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Education through primary school is compulsory and free.  
However, a high percentage of school-age children work rather 
than attend daytime classes, with only a small number of such 
children attending classes at night.  The minimum legal age for 
employment is 16.  Labor law contains special provisions for 
workers between the ages of 16 and 21.  Their apprenticeship 
cannot exceed 18 months, they must be paid at least the minimum 
wage, should be accorded specialized training, and can comprise 
no more than 15 percent of a company's work force.  Given 
Peru's widespread poverty, children work in the informal 
economy without government supervision of wages or conditions 
from a very early age to help support their families.  Child 
labor is heavily used in the agricultural sector and to mine 
gold, but not in other major export industries, such as 
petroleum or fisheries.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Constitution provides that the State should promote social 
and economic progress and occupational education.  It states 
that workers should receive a "just and sufficient" wage, to be 
determined by the Government in consultation with labor and 
business representatives, and "adequate protection against 
arbitrary dismissal."  The current minimum wage is about $57 
(130 soles) per month and is generally considered inadequate to 
support a worker and family.

The Constitution also provides for a 48-hour workweek, a weekly 
day of rest, and yearly vacation.  It prohibits discrimination 
in the workplace.  While occupational health and safety 
standards exist, the Government lacks the resources to monitor 
or enforce compliance.  Employers and workers generally agree 
upon compensation for industrial accidents on an individual 
basis.  The Government introduced reforms in 1993 eliminating 
the need to prove culpability to obtain workman's compensation 
for injuries.  There are no provisions for workers to remove 
themselves from dangerous work place situations without 
jeopardy to continued employment.


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[end of document]

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