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Peru: fear for safety: Dr Antonia E Saquicuray Sanchez, judge (f), Dr Ana Cecilia Magallanes, public prosecutor (f), relatives of the victims of the Barrios Altos massacre, relatives of the victims of the La Cantuta massacre, General (retired) Rodolfo Rob

, Index number: AMR 46/010/1995

AI fears for the safety of those mentioned above, who, according to reports, have all expressed fears in recent weeks that they may suffer reprisals for having spoken out in favour of clarifying past human rights violations. On 16 June 1995, Law 26479, an amnesty law which closed all investigations and judicial proceedings into past human rights violations, came into effect. Judge Saquicuray ruled on 16 June that this law was inapplicable to investigations initiated into the 1991 Barrios Altos massacre. As a result, she has received death threats. Others connected to this investigations are also fearful for their safety.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 46/10/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 146/95 Fear for safety 23 June 1995
PERU Dr. Antonia E. Saquicuray Sánchez, judge (f)
Dr. Ana Cecilia Magallanes, public prosecutor (f)
Relatives of the victims of the Barrios Altos massacre
Relatives of the victims of the La Cantuta massacre
General (rtd.) Rodolfo Robles Espinoza, army officer
Amnesty International fears for the safety of Judge Antonia E. Saquicuray
Sánchez, public prosecutor Ana Cecilia Magallanes, relatives of the victims
of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, and dissident army General Rodolfo
Robles Espinoza. According to reports, over the past few weeks all have
publicly expressed fears that they may suffer reprisals, for having spoken
out in favour of clarifying past human rights violations. Judge Saquicuray
is reported to have received anonymous death threats.
On 15 June 1995, President Alberto Fujimori promulgated Law 26479, an amnesty
law which closed all investigations and judicial proceedings linked to past
human rights violations. The law, which came into effect on 16 June 1995, also
rendered ineffective those few sentences handed down for such crimes.
On 16 June, Judge Saquicuray ruled that the amnesty law was inapplicable to
the investigations already initiated into the November 1991 Barrios Altos
massacre (see Urgent Action 401/91, AMR 46/75/91, 15 November 1991). As a
result of this ruling, the judge is reported to have received several anonymous
telephone death threats. These threats have been denounced to the press by
relatives of the judge.
Ana Cecilia Magallanes was the public prosecutor who recommended to Judge
Saquicuray that the amnesty law should not be applied in relation to members
of the army implicated in the Barrios Altos massacre. The Coordinadora Nacional
de Derechos Humanos, an independent human rights organization, has issued a
public statement asking that the physical integrity of Judge Saquicuray and
public prosecutor Ana Cecilia Magallanes, be guaranteed.
Relatives of the victims of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres have
also publicly expressed fears for their lives. In statements given to
journalists, they have made clear their opposition to the amnesty law. They
expressed particular concern about the release of members of the army who had
already been sentenced for the murder of nine students and a professor from
La Cantuta University in July 1992 (see Peru: La Cantuta killings and other
human rights violations not yet fully investigated, AMR 46/03/94, March 1994).
Some of those sentenced were being investigated by Judge Saquicuray and public
prosecutor Ana Cecilia Magallanes for the killing of 15 people in the Barrios
Altos case.
Dissident army general Rodolfo Robles, who returned to Peru as a result of
the promulgation of the amnesty law, is also feared to be at risk. General
Rodolfo Robles fled to Argentina in May 1992, after making public the fact
that a "destacamento especial", "special detachment", known as the Grupo Colina,
and linked to the Servicio de Inteligencia del Ejército (SIE), Army Intelligence
Service, had been responsible for the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres.
At the time, General Rodolfo Robles claimed that he and his family had received
death threats.
2
Amnesty International believes that the death threats received by Judge
Saquicuray and the fears expressed by her family and by the others named above
are a direct consequence of the amnesty law. The organization reiterates its
unequivocal condemnation of the law, in effect an impunity law which is designed
to protect those responsible for thousands of human rights violations committed
in Peru during the past 15 years. Amnesty International believes that those
responsible should not benefit from any legal measure exempting them from
criminal prosecution or conviction, no matter how much time has elapsed since
the commission of the crime.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Impunity in Peru has been a hallmark of the abject failure by the authorities
to effectively investigate, prosecute, convict and sentence those responsible
for thousands of cases of torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial
execution, committed by the security forces since 1980. In early 1994, the
United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
executions, stated, in a report on his mission to Peru in 1993, that there
was compelling evidence of an "institutionalization of impunity in Peru", and
that this was one of "the main problems with regard to [a lack of respect for]
the right to life."
Such impunity, and the systematic pattern of gross human rights violations
that lie behind it, has arisen in the context of efforts by three successive
governments to combat the armed opposition groups Partido Comunista del Perú
(Sendero Luminoso), (PCP), Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path) and Movimiento
Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA), Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. Since
the early 1980s the PCP, and to a lesser extent the MRTA, have tortured and
deliberately and arbitrarily killed thousands of civilians and members of the
security forces who are hors de combat. Amnesty International reiterates its
unequivocal condemnation of these atrocities. However, the organization
believes that the actions of the PCP and the MRTA do not justify under any
circumstances the violation by the security forces of fundamental human rights.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Judge Antonia E. Saquicuray has received death threats
since her ruling that the amnesty promulgated on 15 June 1995 is inapplicable
to those implicated in the November 1991 Barrios Altos massacre;
- expressing concern that public prosecutor Ana Cecilia Magallanes, relatives
of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres and General Rodolfo Robles have
all expressed fears for their lives since the amnesty law came into effect
on 16 June 1995;
- urging that all necessary steps be taken to ensure that the above persons
are given adequate protection;
- condemning the amnesty law which grants total impunity to those responsible
for past human rights violations in Peru;
- urging President Fujimori to take all necessary measures to have the amnesty
law immediately annulled.
APPEALS TO:
President
Presidente Alberto Fujimori
Palacio de Gobierno
3
Plaza de Armas
Lima 1, PERU
Faxes +5114 326535/337020 (if voice line, ask "me da tono de fax")
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Human Rights Organization
Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Túpac Amaru 2467
Lince
Lima 14, PERU
and to diplomatic representatives of Peru accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 4 August 1995.

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