Peru revokes law denying justice for victims of past crimes

Amnesty International has welcomed the Peruvian president’s decision to revoke a new law which could grant amnesties to military personnel alleged to have committed human rights violations during the country’s 1980 – 2000 internal armed conflict.President Alan García asked Congress on Monday to repeal a presidential decree issued two weeks ago which could have meant that those responsible for human rights violations committed before 2003 would not face trial.Amnesty International had warned that because of the hundreds of cases of human rights violations still pending from that time, the decree, could have made it impossible to bring successful prosecutions against agents of the state. “President García’s decision to revoke the law is a positive step to ensuring that those victims of crimes against humanity at the hands of the military and police will receive the justice they deserve,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Americas Director at Amnesty International.Thousands were killed, tortured, disappeared and raped at the hands of the military during the conflict in Peru. Hundreds of members of the armed opposition group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) are currently imprisoned for the atrocities they committed, however, many of those who committed violations in the name of the state between 1980 and 2000 remain at large.”It is time for all victims and their relatives to receive justice and reparation for their suffering,” concluded Guadalupe Marengo.