December 4, 2023

Ex-president’s Pardon in Peru Draw Outrage

In 2009, Peruvian ex-president Alberto Fujimori was found guilty by the Special Criminal Chamber of Perú.

He had been on trial for sponsoring the commission of qualified homicide – murder.

In December 2017, he was pardoned by Peruvian former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a pardon which was recently affirmed, a move that created national outrage.

The ‘Murders’

According to the original filings, a death squad had been sent to Barrios Altos, Lima, to kill a group of people who were deemed to be terrorists.

A total of 15 people were killed, with 10 more people having been kidnapped the following July. Their remains would be found days later.

While the deaths were not initially investigated or tried, they would be years later, with the court ruling that the state had breached Articles 1.1 and 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights by enacting and enforcing amnesty laws by not investigating or prosecuting the initial incident.

As noted above, in 2009, Fujimori was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

When the pardon was issued in 2017, people were outraged. Even though the court had ordered the pardon inapplicable, the Constitutional Court of Peru approved the pardon, meaning the former president was now free to leave prison.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights responded, issuing a resolution to counter the pardon, but was more or less dismissed, with the Constitutional Court of Peru responding, “The answer is yes (the release of Fujimori proceeds) because what we have solved was a clarification of the sentence. The rulings of the Tribunal must be complied with and enforced as the Supreme Court resolutions, but in this case the one that has the prevalence is the ruling of the Constitutional Court.”

The decision by the Court to ignore the Inter-American Court of Human Rights decision is one that is raising some eyebrows, and there could be some very serious international repercussions for Peru for its actions.

The widely agreed upon opinion is that its court has become politicized rather than protecting human rights and its citizens.

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