• Campaigns

UA 230/93 - Peru: fear for safety: Heriberto Benitez Rivas

, Index number: AMR 46/025/1993

There is concern for the safety of Heriberto Benitez Rivas, a lawyer presently representing the relatives of nin students and one lecturer who "disappeared" on 18 July 1992. According to a testimony given to an Amnesty International delegation in Peru on 14 July 1993, he said that he had been receiving anonymous death threats. Heriberto Benitez and his family have been threatened in the past for his participation in the legal defence of members of the army who in November 1992 were accused of having participated in an attempt to overthrow President Alberto Fujimori's government.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 46/25/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 230/93 Fear for Safety 15 July 1993
PERU: Heriberto BENITEZ RIVAS, lawyer
Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the safety of Heriberto Benítez
Rivas, a lawyer presently representing the relatives of nine students and one
lecturer who "disappeared" on 18 July 1992. According to a testimony given
to an Amnesty International delegation in Peru on 14 July 1993, Heriberto Benítez
said that he has been receiving anonymous death threats on the phone during
the past few days for his involvement in this case.
The students and lecturer were abducted on the campus of the Enrique Guzmán
y Valle University of Education, also known as La Cantuta, allegedly by members
of the armed forces. Heriberto Benítez and the relatives of the "disappeared"
have been asking the authorities to carry out an investigation into the case.
(For further information see Amnesty International's reports: Peru:
"Disappearance" of a Lecturer and nine Students, AI Index AMR 46/45/92, Peru:
"Disappeared" Lecturer and Nine Students Killed by the Army, AI Index: AMR
46/09/93 and Peru: Army Seeks a Cover-up of Summary Killings, AI Index: AMR
46/12/93.)
Heriberto Benítez and his family have been threatened with death in the past
for his participation in the legal defence of members of the army who in November
1992 were accused of having participated in an attempt to overthrow President
Alberto Fujimori's Government.
Heriberto Benítez has denounced these latest threats before the dean of the
Colegio de Abogados (Bar Association) and to the President of the Congress'
Human Rights Commission.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
President Alberto Fujimori and his government assumed power on 28 July 1990.
The government inherited a legacy of gross human rights violations dating
back to January 1988, including thousands of cases of "disappearance" and
extrajudicial execution.
The President has repeatedly stated that his government is pursuing a policy
of respect for human rights. However, since President Fujimori assumed power,
Amnesty International has documented the cases of 607 persons who were
"disappeared". The organization has also documented 228 cases of extrajudicial
execution during the same period.
Human rights violations occur in the context of the government's
counter-insurgency operations directed against the clandestine Partido
Comunista del Perú, PCP, Communist Party of Peru, and the Movimiento
Revolucionario Túpac Amaru, MRTA, Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. Amnesty
International opposes the deliberate and arbitrary killing by the armed
opposition of defenceless civilians not directly involved in the internal
conflict, and of members of the security forces who have laid down their arms
and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other
cause.
Page 2 of UA 230/93
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Heriberto Benítez Rivas has been targeted repeatedly
with threatening telephone calls to his home, the latest of which was on 12
July 1993;
- calling on the Public Ministry to take all the necessary steps to ensure
that Heriberto Benítez is given adequate protection;
- requesting the Public Ministry to thoroughly investigate the allegations
and make the findings public;
- requesting the Human Rights Commission of the Congress to ensure that such
an investigation is carried out.
APPEALS TO
1) Public Ministry's Attorney General:
Dra. Blanca Nélida Colan Maguiña
Fiscal de la Nación
Fiscalía de la Nación
Edificio Torre de Lima, 7 piso
Centro Cívico
Lima, PERU
Telegrams: Fiscal de la Nación, Lima, Peru
Salutation: Señora Fiscal General de la Nación / Dear Attorney General
2) President, Human Rights Commission of Congress:
Dr Roger Cáceres
President de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos
Consejo Constituyente Democrático
Palacio Legislativo
Plaza Bolívar
Lima, PERU
Telegrams: Dr Cáceres, Palacio Legislativo, Lima, Peru
Salutation: Estimado Dr Cáceres / Dear Dr Cáceres
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Dean of the Lawyers' Bar
Sr. Decano
Colegio de Abogados del Perú
Avda. Sta Cruz 255
Miraflores
Lima, 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 26 August 1993.

Choose a language to view report