Today, in a landmark decision, former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was convicted for torture, kidnapping and forced disappearances committed during the early 1990s.
This is a crucial victory in the struggle against impunity for human rights violations in Peru and a triumph for justice worldwide.
Javier Zúñiga, an Amnesty International delegate who observed the trial noted:
“Justice has been done in Peru. This is historic. Now it is vital that all of those responsible for human rights violations committed in Peru, including those perpetrated prior to the government of Alberto Fujimori, be brought before the courts.”
Peru’s Supreme Court ruled in the cases of Barrios Altos (in which 15 men, women and children were executed in 1991), La Cantuta (in which nine students and a university lecturer were kidnapped and later killed in 1992 by members of the Colina Group, a paramilitary force within the Peruvian Army) and the SIE basements (where two kidnap victims were held). The decision, which was unanimously adopted by the three presiding judges, concluded that Fujimori bore individual criminal responsibility in all three cases because he had effective military command over those who committed the crimes.
Amnesty International has been closely following the trial of Alberto Fujimori. We have incontrovertible evidence documenting serious human rights violations and crimes against international law – such as torture, killings and enforced disappearance – were committed. Given their widespread and systematic nature, these constituted crimes against humanity.
The trial of Fujimori was highlighted in Amnesty’s short documentary, Justice without Borders.