Inter-American Court supports victims' claims regarding Fujimori's pardon

Washington, D.C. and Lima, June 15th 2018- International organizations of Human rights and of the Peruvian civil society greet the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I-A Court) that determined that the pardon of the Peruvian ex-president Alberto Fujimori does not meet Peru’s international obligations.

In particular, the Inter-American Tribunal determined that the grave violations of human rights that occurred in the cases of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta must be fully investigated and sanctioned; and  that Peru's judicial organs will need to conduct a prompt evaluation in to the concession of the pardon.

The resolution, issued today, disposes that the application for “humanitarian reasons” of Fujimori constitutes an obstacle for complying with the obligation of investigating, judging, and sentencing the violations of human rights committed in both cases and produces an unnecessary affectation and limits the right to access of justice for the victims.

The court also signaled that serious questions regarding the judicial requirements and the context under which the pardon was given existed. The tribunal established that the decision that was authorized to the benefit of ex-dictator Fujimori lacks many of the explanations that were necessary to justify it. It also indicates that it’s request and subsequent granting occurred in the middle of a political crisis in December of 2017 when a vacancy process was initiated for supposed acts of corruption against then president of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

In accordance with the resolution of the Inter-American Court, Peruvian constitutional justice must determine if the pardon caused damage to the victims and their families; or if it was improperly granted, for which it must make an analysis that takes into account these international standards.When it comes to grave violations of human rights, it is necessary that, besides the situation of the health of the Peruvian ex-leader, other factors are taken into account: the amount of the penalty that has been fulfilled, the cooperation of the condemned in respect to the clarification of the truth, the recognition of the gravity of the crimes , the reparation granted to the victims, as well as the effect a possible liberation could have on them. In this case, with the exception of the time already served, it is not satisfying any of the other assumptions necessary to grant a benefit like the one given to Fujimori.

Finally, the resolution given by the Inter-American Court backs the victims’ long and hard fight that was violated by the pardon granted on Christmas Eve 2017. It is expected by October 29th of 2018 the State will present its report on the control of the pardon by the constitutional jurisdiction. In hopes that Peru will comply with the resumption given by the Inter-American Court in a timely and effective manner, we express our gratitude for the support and solidarity of people, organizations, and institutions that in one way or another also contribute to the search for justice and favors the fight against the impunity in this case in a transcendental way.