Nizkor Int. Human Rights Team
Derechos Human Rights
LETTER FROM PERUVIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS TO THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER
LLOYD AXWORTHY, WITH REGARDS TO THE IMMINENT OAS FACT-FINDING MISSION TO PERU.
To the Honorable Lloyd Axworthy
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex drive
We are addresing you on behalf of the Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos,
an entity founded in Peru in 1985, which consists, to date, of 61 organizations
along the country and whose legitimacy is based upon its well known compromise
with the defense of democracy and human rights.
It is because of this, for our democratic conviction, that we wish to express to
you our position on the critical situation going on in our country and our
expectancies in relation to the OAS high level commission that will come to
Peru within a few days.
It is fundamental to us to bear in mind all the time the origin and foundation
of such high level commission: the carrying out of absolutely irregular and
fraudulent elections in Peru and under the slightest standards.
The elections in Peru were in the agenda of the permanent council and in the OAS
XXX General Assembly due to the report of the former foreign minister Eduardo
Stein, head of the OAS Mission of Electoral Observers in Peru. A report in which
the validity of such elections are unmistakably questioned, and, in consequence
the results of them, considering that they were "nor free or just".
The non-fulfillment of the slightest standards and the lack of democratic
conditions even led the mission of the OAS observers to leave the country few
days before the said date for the carrying out of the second round.
The fact the a Mission of OAS electoral observers had disqualified the elections
taken place in Peru, is therefore, what has led the OAS XXX General Assembly to
aprove the resolution which originates a high level commision to come to Peru.
Only then one can understand why the official peruvian mission to the OAS, even
preview to the OAS XXX General Assembly, had opposed openly to the terms of the
draft of the resolution presented by the canadian mission, making a state issue
for the elimination of the considering of the resolution that linked
intrinsically the commission to the elections in Peru, purpose not reached,
leaving then, such considering as essential part of the resolution:
"Worried that the credibility of the process and the results of such elections
are still being harmed by persistent reports of irregularities that have not
been examined to satisfaction, included the problems of the electoral process
itself and the existing institutional deficiencies".
The interamerican commission on human rights has also expressed in its last
report that what has happened in Peru forms an "interruption of the
constitutional order" and that it corresponds to the supposedly contemplated in
the resolution 1080.
The results within the limits of the OAS agree with which is happening within
the country: the election that have taken place are in question and have put the
country in a real limit situation, distinguished by the polarization,
unsteadiness, international isolation and non governability.
The majority of peruvians we do not recognize the validity of the elections and
its results, as is being expressed by the permanent mobilization of the citizens
around the country. Is the legitimacy of the political regime as of the 28 of
july what is in question.
If the elections are the cause of the crisis in the country and of the
international questioning, including the OAS, the only possible way out is new
elections. Only with new elections, with results accepted by all, Peru will
come out of this critical situation.
This legitimacy crisis cannot by all means be reverted as the government
pretends, by dialogue offers for democratic improvements, since -we insist- what
is questioned today facing the regime is its origin: elections.
It is impossible to revert the huge deficit that Peru drags regarding democracy
within the frame of the actual political regime because the authoritarian
characteristics are essential to it and even many of them -with the intervention
and control of the institutions- have been generated and used in order to
achieve the unconstitutional re-reelection of president Fujimori.
For example, 80% of the magistrates in peru is providential. This had its
origins in the self coup d'etat of april 5 1992, and if it has hold up during
all these years it is because it constitutes one of the main ways of political
control of the administration of justice, as has been demonstrated in many
cases, many of them within the frame of the electoral process: impunity for the
forge of over 1 million signatures by the Frente Independiente Peru 2000 -the
government party-; verdicts in favor of media stockholders that are
unconditional to the regime and verdicts against critics or independents;
prosecutions and verdicts against candidates of opposition and journalists.
The seven official members of the council of the magistrate all together
resigned because they were stripped of its constitutional faculties, naming
judges and official prosecutors.
The arbitrary destitution of the three members of the Constitutional Court was
due to a pronunciation against the third nomination of Fujimori for a second re
And we can go on and on, explaining the disproportional growth with political
views of the National Intelligence Service, the unlimited power of Vladimiro
Montesinos without inspection, the range of the military competence for the
trial of civilians among many other issues.
Concerning freedom of press, the very serious problems existing in Peru (Ivcher
case-channel 2, retaliation and discrimination against journalists and
independent media, control of open television signal; political use of
tabloids; etc.) has already been matter of pronunciations of the Interamerican
Commission of Human Rights itself, either directly in reports and
recommendations or through its special reporter for the issue.
If within almost ten years a political regime has been built based mainly on
authoritarianism, there is no reason to think that this very regime will become
democratic; specially in times when it pretends to perpetuate itself in power
beyond the constitution, violating international standards on elections, against
the will of the majority of the peruvians and questioned by the international
Also, we must not forget, honorable, that after the coup d'etat of april 5,
1992, there was a first time in which president Fujimori committed himself
before the OAS to democratize the country nevertheless, he openly did not
fulfill such compromise.
It is also this regime that is giving categorical signals of the continuity and
even intensification of its authoritarianism, even after the approval of the
resolution on elections in Peru in Windsor.
Only then one can understand that a few days ago an unusual and provocative
military ceremony took place, where the joint armed forces accepted Alberto
Fujimori as president of the republic for the period 2000-2005, when not even
the congress has been installed and it is before the congress where he should
swear for the post of president.
In that same direction one must interpret the evidences on corruption and
"buying", on behalf of the officialism, of newly elected congressmen with the
purpose of achieving a parliamentary majority that allows them to continue with
the control of the congress. in one of these cases -Luis Cáceres Velazquez-
even the supreme court and the national jury of elections have been visibly
involved modifying resolutions without legal reason in favor of the official
Within this context, we reiterate, honorable, that the only possibility to start
the democratization in Peru, is through new elections.
New elections that should take place within completely different conditions to
the last electoral process, one of the most turbid and irregular in the history
of Peru and in the region.
- Respect for the constitution and the law
- Adequacy and modernization of the electoral system to international standards
(registration of voters)
- Suspension of the use of state resources in favor of the official candidacy.
- Equitable access to the media
- Independent and impartial electoral authority
- Efficient and audited computer system
- Guarantees for the national and international electoral observation
We think that it is within this frame, of new elections, in fair and free
condition, that the high level commission of the OAS should propitiate dialogue
and understanding among peruvians.
We reiterate that the outcome of the incidents in Peru will have repercussions
within the region. If in the end, the continuity of this regime prospers upon
the bases of elections that, according to all electoral observation, national
and international, where way under the slightest standards, anti democratic
tendencies will be encouraged.
On the other hand, if the peruvian situation ends in a new electoral process,
just and free, the signal will have been in favor of democracy and against
authoritarianism . and in this case, the OAS will have contributed to it in a
decisive way, wining credibility and moral authority.
We conclude pointing out that we act convinced that only the democratic
re-institutionalization of the country starting with new elections, will set
foundations for the validity of human rights in Peru.
We appreciate, honorable, the task fulfilled at the XXX General Assembly of the
OAS and please accept the expressions of our consideration and respect.
Sofía Macher - Secretaria Ejecutiva
[Source: Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDDHH) - 172/00 - Lima,
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
- Human Rights in Peru