San Jose, February 1, 2018.- This morning, at a press conference held in Costa Rica, the relatives of the victims of the La Cantuta and Barrios Altos cases – accompanied by their legal representatives- denounced the pardon granted to Alberto Fujimori in anticipation of the hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that will review the validity of the measure.
Although many people involved in Peruvian politics have attempted to attribute to the victims a sense of vengeance that halts progress towards national reconciliation, Carmen Amaro, who will participate in tomorrow’s hearing and is a sister of one of the students who disappeared at the University La Cantuta, clarified that “to vindicate the memory of our victims is an act of love, not of hate nor revenge.”
“The dictatorship of the 1990’s symbolized an unfortunate time, where corruption networks were institutionally fostered and where the criminal gang ‘Grupo Colina,’ which was responsible for the extrajudicial disappearance of Peruvians, was organized, financed and trained,” stated Jorde Bracamonte, executive secretary of the National Coordinator of Human Rights of Peru. “For these reasons, Alberto Fujimori was sentenced in the cases of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta, both at the level of national and supranational justice mechanisms.”
Carlos Rivera, lawyer with the IDL and legal representative of the victims, questioned the reasons for which the president of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted a humanitarian pardon to the former dictator on December 24th. “We have questioned the legitimacy and legality of this pardon and have determined it as the result of a political agreement under the table between Kuczynski and a faction of Fujimorismo led by congressman Kenji Fujimori Higuchi, son of Alberto Fujimori.”
Likewise, Viviana Krsticevic, executive director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and legal representative of the victims before the Inter-American Human Rights System, defined Fujimori’s pardon as “arbitrary and contrary to Peru’s international obligations.” Gloria Cano, of the Asociacion Pro-Derechos Huamanos, stated that the pardon will allow Fujimori to evade the Supreme Court’s criminal sanction and, through this right of grace, also allow him to evade any investigation that may occur in respect to other cases.
The family members and legal representatives will participate in the Monitoring of Compliance hearing convened by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, scheduled for tomorrow February 2nd in San Jose, Costa Rica at 11:15 am (local time).
The La Cantuta and Barrios Altos cases contributed to the subsequent charges against the former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori, for his involvement in several cases of human rights violations during his regime. Fujimori’s conviction was the first time that international justice influenced the development and progress of criminal proceedings at an internal level against a former president.
To watch the press conference: https://www.facebook.com/CEJIL/videos/10154959215061230/