THE IACHR CONCLUDES ITS VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF PERU
Today, Dr. Marta Altolaguirre, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and Rapporteur for Peru, concluded her working visit of August 26-September 1, 2003. The principal purpose of the visit was to hold working meetings regarding implementation of the recommendations to the Peruvian State made by the Inter-American Commission and to attend the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s presentation of its final report. Dr. Altolaguirre was accompanied during her visit by Dr. Pedro E. Díaz R., IACHR attorney.
The Commission is a principal organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) and is charged with promoting, protecting, and defending human rights in the Americas. The Commission’s authority is derived mainly from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights, treaties ratified by the Republic of Peru. The IACHR is composed of seven Commissioners, who are elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.
Dr. Altolaguirre attended the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s presentation of its final report, given to the President of the Republic, Dr. Alejandro Toledo, on August 28, 2003, at the Government Palace and, on August 29, 2003, in Huamanga, Ayacucho Department.
The Commission wishes to underscore the efforts made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during its two years of activity and the report it has prepared, and hopes that the Peruvian State and society, once aware of the contents and recommendations thereof, will consolidate the shaping of a democratic society with peace and social justice.
During its visit, the Commission also interviewed government officials and representatives of different sectors of civil society. Among other officials it met were: Dr. Allan Wagner Tizón, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Fausto Alvarado Dodero, Minister of Justice; Dr. Walter Alban, Ombudsman; and Dr. Nelly Calderón Navarro, Attorney General of Peru. In addition, the IACHR President met with members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and with Dr. Francisco Soberón, Executive Secretary of the Office for the Coordination of Human Rights in Peru; representatives of other nongovernmental organizations in Peruvian civil society; and victims and their relatives whose cases had been brought before the IACHR.
In February 2001, the Peruvian state undertook formally and publicly to seek integral settlements in the cases of the human rights violations pointed to by the Commission in 105 final reports adopted and published under Article 51 of the American Convention on Human Rights. These reports cover 159 cases related to forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions for which the Peruvian State was found responsible under international law, and regarding which recommendations were made in respect of the investigation and punishment of those responsible for the said human rights violations and reparation for members of the victims’ families.
The Commission met with the Inter-Institutional Working Group for Follow-up of IACHR Recommendations, established by the Peruvian State to seek integral settlements and implement the aforementioned recommendations. At that meeting, this Commission’s final report was studied and some of its results evaluated.
In addition, during this visit, the friendly settlement agreement in IACHR Case 12.191, María Mamérita Mestanza Chávez, was signed by the Minister of Justice, Dr. Fausto Humberto Alvarado Dodero; Minister of Education, Dr. Carlos Malpica Faustor; Minister of Health, Dr. Alvaro Vidal Rivadeneyra; Minister of Women, Dr. Ana Elena Townsend Diez-Canseco; and the following nongovernmental organizations: Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM) and Estudio para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer (DEMUS), a report that will be considered at the upcoming 118th regular session of the Commission, to be held in October 2003.
The Commission would like to thank the Peruvian authorities for their hospitality and for the facilities provided during this visit. In particular, it is grateful for the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which ensured the success of the visit. We would also like to thank nongovernmental organizations and the OAS Office in Peru for their invaluable assistance.
Lima, Peru, September 1, 2003