Document - Peru: Police shoot two dead, more at risk

UA: 343/09 Index: AMR 46/019/2009 Peru Date: 23 December 2009



Two men were shot dead by police on 2 December, in their village in north-western Peru, during a search for another man. Other people in the area are in danger of being killed by police in similar operations, unless the government orders the police to review their use of lethal force.

According to a local NGO, the two men were shot in the back and another eight villagers received gunshot wounds. The wounded are now in hospital, and one may need to have his leg amputated.

Around 30 police had arrived mid-afternoon at the village ofCajas-Canchaque, to detain one of seven men wanted for questioning about a 1 November arson attack that killed three mining company employees and burned down the Rio Blanco Copper encampment at "Henry's Hill," near the village.

Police had tried to detain the man that morning, but had been turned away when they could not produce an arrest warrant. They arrested two other men in neighbouring villages that morning, for the same reason, but did not tell either that there was a warrant for their arrest. According to a local NGO, villagers confronted the police, and told them they could not come in. The police tried to force their way in, pushing people aside, including a 70-year-old woman. When the woman pushed back, a police officer shot her, wounding her badly. The police continued shooting, leaving two villagers dead and eight wounded.

The two men arrested in the morning of 2 December were released two days later after a judge ruled that there was no need to keep them in custody.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:

  • Expressing concern that excessive use of force by police led to the killing and wounding of unarmed civilians in the village of Cajas-Canchaque on 2 December and that people living in the villages within the Community of Segunda y Cajas may be at risk of further excessive use of force.

  • Reminding the authorities that Article 3 of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states that they "may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty" and that Principle 9 of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials states that "intentional lethal use of firearms" should only be used "when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life."

  • Calling on the authorities to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the events of 2 December, and bring those responsible to justice.


Attorney General

Dra. Gladys Margot Echaiz Ramos

Fiscal de la Nación /

Ministerio Público

Av. Abancay cdra. 5 s/n

Lima 1


Fax: + 511 625 5555 ext 6304

Please ask 'el tono de fax por favor'

Salutation: Sra. Fiscal

Minister of the Interior

Tnte. Gral. PNP Octavio Salazar Miranda

Ministerio del Interior

Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n

Urb. Córpac

San Isidro / Lima 27


Fax: +511 4758820

email :

Salutation: Sr. Ministro

And copies to:


Fundación Ecuménica para el Desarrollo y la Paz

Trinidad Morán 286 - Lince

Lima, Peru

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.



ADditional Information

The two men shot dead on 2 December in Cajas-Canchaque were called Cástulo Correa Huayama and Vicente Romero Ramírez. The village is in the community of Segunda y Cajas, in the district of El Carmen de la Frontera, Huancabamba department, Piura province.

The Peruvian security forces have a long history of failing to comply with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, of which Principle 5 states that "when force is used, states must exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved," and "minimize damage and injury." On 5 June 2009 in the Amazon region, the security forces made excessive use of force to break up a road blockade that indigenous peoples had been maintaining for 50 days, protesting against decree laws that they claimed violated their right to land and livelihood. On 5 June 33 people died, including 23 police officers, and at least 200 Indigenous people and others living in the area around the towns of Bagua and Bagua Grande, in the provinces of Bagua and Utcubamba, were seriously injured.

UA: 343/09 Index: AMR 46/019/2009 Issue Date: 23 December 2009

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