Peru: Rumours of pardon for Fujimori must not distract from efforts to seek justice for victims

The Peruvian government must focus all its energy on ensuring that the thousands of victims of human rights violations committed during the administration of former president Fujimori receive truth, justice and reparation, said Amnesty International in an open letter sent today to President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

“The rumours of a possible pardon for former President Alberto Fujimori are little more than a distraction from the government’s historic debt to guarantee justice for thousands of people,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

The rumours of a possible pardon for former President Alberto Fujimori are little more than a distraction from the government’s historic debt to guarantee justice for thousands of people
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

“President Kuczynski must also listen to the voices of the families of the victims and civil society organizations who, on several occasions, have requested meetings with him in order to voice their concerns.”

The former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 for his responsibility for crimes against humanity committed by his subordinates, the paramilitary group Colina.

Fujimori is also currently facing charges for his alleged responsibility for other human rights violations which could constitute crimes against humanity, such as the killing of six people in Pativilca, Central Peru.

Any pardon or clemency which would revoke the 2009 sentence against Alberto Fujimori for crimes against humanity would disregard the sentence issued by the Peruvian Supreme Court of Justice, would violate the country’s obligations under international law and would undermine what little achievements have already been accomplished in the recent fight against impunity.

The possibility that the former president could benefit from a humanitarian measure, based on serious illness which should be verified by means of a transparent process, should not hinder the ongoing trials and investigations against him for human rights violations and crimes under international law.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, is visiting Peru this week. This could prove a crucial opportunity for President Kuczynski to confirm his commitment to the process of obtaining peace, justice and reparation for the victims.