UA 339/91 - Peru: possible extrajudicial execution: Melissa Alfaro
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 46/65/91
UA 339/91 Possible Extrajudicial Execution 11 October 1991
PERU: Melissa Alfaro, newspaper editor, aged 23
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the killing of Melissa
Alfaro, the editor of the weekly newspaper Cambio in Lima.
According to reports, on 10 October 1991 a letter bomb addressed to Carlos
Arroyo, the Director of Cambio, was delivered by a young man to the newspaper's
offices in the Lince district of Lima. Melissa Alafro was apparently killed
instantly when the letter bomb exploded in her face.
Cambio, sold widely in Lima, has often denounced alleged human rights
abuses by the security forces.
Since a pattern of human rights violations began in Peru in 1983, human rights
defenders, journalists and others who have helped bring details of human rights
abuses to local and international attention, have been targets of death threats
and harassment from the armed forces or para-military groups thought to be
working with the acquiescence of the authorities.
In March 1991, lawyer and human rights defender Augusto Zúñiga (accent
on u, tilde on n) Paz lost his arm on opening a letter bomb at the offices
of the Comisión de Derechos Humanos (COMISEDH), the Commission for Human Rights
Several journalists have recently received threats from a group calling
itself Comando de Liberación Antiterrorista, the Antiterrorist Liberation
Command, which first emerged in June 1991, when two journalists, Magno Sosa
and Nesias Taquiri, were threatened with death in the city of Ayacucho, Huamanga
Province, Ayacucho department, (See UA 210/91, AI Index AMR 46/30/91, 14 June).
The group also threatened journalist Luis Antonio Morales Ortega, who was
subsequently killed (See UA 248/91, AI Index AMR 46/42/91, 19 July). A journalist
working for "La República" in Lima, Jorge Chavez Morales, also received a threat
in a letter signed by the same group (see UA 276/91, AI Index AMR 46/52/91,
12 August). Human rights organizations in Peru have expressed concern that
the Comando de Liberación Antiterrorista may be acting with the direct support
or the acquiescence of the armed forces.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/and airmail letters:
- urging that a thorough and impartial investigation be immediately ordered
into the killing of Melissa Alfaro by a letter bomb delivered to the offices
of Cambio and that the findings be made public;
- urging that the perpetrators be brought to justice;
- urging that concrete steps be taken with the utmost urgency to guarantee
the personal security of all who work for Cambio newspaper and other journalists
in Lima and the interior of the country.
Presidente Alberto Fujimori Señor Presidente
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Gobierno
Plaza de Armas
Lima 1, Perú
Telegrams: Presidente Fujimori, Lima, Peru
Telexes: 20167 PE PALACIO
General EP Jorge Torres Aciego Señor Ministro
Ministro de Defensa
Ministerio de Defensa
Avenida Boulevard s/n
Lima 33, Perú
Telegrams: Ministro Defensa Torres, Lima, Perú
Telexes: 25438 PE COMGREGJ
Embajador Fernando Guillén Salas Señor Embajador
Subsecretario de Política Multilateral
Subsecretaría de Política Multilateral
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Jr. Ucayali 363
Lima 1, Perú
Telegrams: Sr Subsecretario, Ministerio Relaciones
Exteriores, Lima, Peru
Telexes: 20142/20165/20467 (Attn: Sr Subsecretario)
25435 PE ESTADO
Hrma. Pilar Coll
Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Capac Yupanqui, 2151
and to diplomatic representatives of Peru in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22nd November 1991.