CEJIL y otras organizaciones

Peruvian villagers demand justice at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Human Rights groups denounced today serious violations committed against the rural community of Santa Barbara by the Peruvian military during the internal armed conflict in Peru.

The case of the rural community of Santa Barbara is yet another example demonstrating a pattern of impunity and a generalized and systematic practice conducted by the Peruvian Army of carrying out forced disappearances, extra judicial executions, massacres and other human rights violations during the internal armed conflict in Peru. Thus far, investigations and prosecutions by the State for these crimes have been minimal.

Wed, 01/28/2015

 

San Jose, January 27th 2015.- Human Rights groups denounced today serious violations committed against the rural community of Santa Barbara by the Peruvian military during the internal armed conflict in Peru.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and Asociación Paz y Esperanza stood before a public hearing at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court) in defense of members the quechua speaking, Andean community.

On July 4th 1991, members of the Peruvian army advanced a military operation that ravaged two sectors of the community. During the course of the operation, the military arrested 15 members of the community, most of them women and children, who were suspected of belonging to subversive groups. Members of the group were beaten, their houses were burned to the ground, and their cattle as well as other belongings were stolen by soldiers. Afterwards, the victims were led towards the Varallon mine (nicknamed the Mysterious mine by the community) where they were executed with bursts of high-caliber automatic rifles. Finally the military used dynamite to disappear the remains.

“The moral damage of taking my family away from me is something that you’ll never cure. The wound that I have inside my heart will never heal,” said Zenon Cirilo Onzayo Tunque, husband and father of 4 of the victims, “I would like to have their remain, to know where are my children buried, at least to light them a candle or take them a flower.”

The case of the rural community of Santa Barbara is yet another example demonstrating a pattern of impunity and a generalized and systematic practice conducted by the Peruvian Army of carrying out forced disappearances, extra judicial executions, massacres and other human rights violations during the internal armed conflict in Peru. Thus far, investigations and prosecutions by the State for these crimes have been minimal.

In the present case, a large group of military personnel planned and executed the operation, but until now only one active sentence of 20 years issued in 2012 by the National Criminal Court of Peru against Sargent Oscar Alberto Carrera Gonzalez exists. This same sentence ordered the processing of five other military personnel and the investigation of 3 high ranking officers. Two of them, Dennis Wilfredo Pacheco Zambrano and Javier Bendezú Vargas, are currently fugitives from justice. Both of them have active arrest warrants through INTERPOL.  However the Peruvian authorities have not taken the necessary steps to effectuate their arrests, and the rest of the military personnel involved have not been adequately investigated.

These were some of the points raised during the hearing. CEJIL concluded pointing out the lack of access to justice, truth, and reparation for the victims, the lack of timely prosecution of the fugitive military personnel, and the climate of inefficacy present in the Peruvian State that left this case on the backburner for over 20 years, even after the events of the massacre were partially recognized by the State.

”It’s unacceptable that Peru continues to avoid its obligations concerning the complete fulfillment of rulings issued over cases of severe human rights violations that occurred during the internal armed conflict,” expressed Francisco Quintana, Director of the Andean Region and North American Program for CEJIL,   ”The fugitives who were involved in the massacre of Santa Barbara must be captured and judged so that the State can fully clarify the events and finally fulfill its duty of reparations for the victims. The echoes of what happened in the Varallon mine have been reverberating for 23 years. The time for justice is now. ”

The organizations requested the Peruvian State to guarantee the right to the truth and the integrity to the family of the victims and the provision of structural repairs, the establishment of a mechanism that will facilitate the identification of the remains and finally the provision of integrated answers that take in account the necessities of the community.

Meanwhile the Peruvian State refuted the classification of the case as one of forced disappearance instead of extra judicial execution, pointed to lack of funds as one of the causes delaying further investigation processes and  the identification of one of the victims as such.

Additional Information

The peasant community of Santa Barbara is nestled in the Andean mountains that trace the south central area of the country of the department of Huancavelica.The majority of the residents dedicated to cattle herding and agriculture.

Paraguayan peasants expose high levels of violence and impunity at the Inter-American Commission

Cases of violence against peasants in Uruguay were presented at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) addressed the distinct expressions of this violence, which affects the right to life, personal integrity and access to justice on behalf of peasants, as a result of their fight for access and tenancy of land in Paraguay.

Tue, 11/04/2014

Washington D.C., October 31, 2014. – Cases of violence against peasants in Uruguay were presented at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) addressed the distinct expressions of this violence, which affects the right to life, personal integrity and access to justice on behalf of peasants, as a result of their fight for access and tenancy of land in Paraguay.

Martina González Paredes testified directly to the fact that at least 110 cases of executions and disappearances of leaders and members of pro-peasant organizations have taken place between February 3,, 1989 and August 15, 2013. Of the 91 open cases, only 8 cases have advanced to partial convictions, without the clarification of facts or punishment for those responsible for the alleged crimes.

After thanking Martina for her testimony, James L. Cavallaro, Rapporteur of Persons Deprived of Right to Liberty asked the representatives of the State of Paraguay if they could not investigate the 115 unpunished murders,  and commented “it is important to put a face to the facts.”

On his part, the Rapporteur for Social and Economic Rights, Paulo Vannuchi, has underlined that in the circumstances that peasants live in, “many times the fight for land represents the fight for food for their children.”

The lack of adequate and diligent investigation by the State, in order to identify and convict those responsible of these violations of human rights, was also denounced during the hearing.

The hearing was part of the joint work of civil society organizations and peasant groups in Paraguay, denouncing the violence and impunity for violations of human rights in the country.

International Human Rights Commission Conducts Hearing on Unaccompanied Minors

Washington, DC, October 27, 2014.- At a hearing held before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) lawyers, activists, and members of civil society made recommendations to the U.S. government on the humanitarian crisis faced by unaccompanied children arriving at the United States’ southern border.

“We call on the United States to provide real protection to these unaccompanied children reaching the southern border,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “First and foremost, they are children. At all times, the State must honor the guarantee against the return to danger. The U.S. must protect their best interests, rather than placing them in harm’s way or in punitive detention.”

Mon, 10/27/2014

Audiencia CIDH 153 POSWashington, DC, October 27, 2014.- At a hearing held before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) lawyers, activists, and members of civil society made recommendations to the U.S. government on the humanitarian crisis faced by unaccompanied children arriving at the United States’ southern border.

“We call on the United States to provide real protection to these unaccompanied children reaching the southern border,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “First and foremost, they are children. At all times, the State must honor the guarantee against the return to danger. The U.S. must protect their best interests, rather than placing them in harm’s way or in punitive detention.”

At the hearing, the petitioners called on the United States to adequately screen and protect all unaccompanied children, to create independent mechanisms to monitor due process and detention outcomes, to guarantee all children’s right to legal representation, and to honor the right to seek affirmative asylum by ending its support for interdiction units and militarization of borders. The petitioners also requested that the US government participate in a joint working group to follow up on the Commission’s recommendations, and to make any responses to the IACHR publicly available.

The Commission was particularly influential in bringing about the closure of T. Don Hutto, the last existing family detention center, in 2009. But during the past year, the United States has opened three new family detention centers, where documented abuses have occurred, and the number of detained families has increased from 90 to approximately 4,000.

Commissioner Felipe González pointed to the United States need to justify this practice as a deterrent measure by stating that detention does not stop migration and, more fundamentally, punitive detention of children and families is contrary to international law.

The Inter-American Commission recently completed a crucial on-site visit to monitor the human rights situation of migrant and refugee children and families in Texas from September 29 to October 2, 2014.

“An increase in the number of children seeking protection should be met with more and better protection. Instead of this, the State has shown that it is taking unfortunate steps backward,” said Viviana Krsticevic. “We hope the information and analysis we provided today will aid the Commission to once again guarantee that all children are protected.”

 

Statelessness in the Dominican Republic The Constitutional Court Ruling & Beyond

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) are co-hosting a panel on the recent Constitutional Court ruling in the Dominican Republic which retroactively strips three generations of Dominicans of their nationality.

 

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 12:00 - 13:30
The George Washington Law School 2000 H Street NW
Washington DC
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