Inter-American Court rules on Fujimori case

17 June 2018

News that a ruling had been reached came out a week ago, but the text was only officially announced on 15 June. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) has ruled on five points.

The first concerns the Peruvian state, and it finds that it has not done enough to investigate and judge cases of human rights abuse which were at the centre of the cases for which former president Alberto Fujimori was jailed in 2009. Textually, the Court declared that the state “has not complied fully with the obligation to investigate, judge and where applicable punish the grave violations of human rights”.

In the case of the Barrios Altos, the extra-judicial killing that took place at a social gathering in 1991, the IACHR ruled saying that not all the events had been properly investigated and that the state still needed to compensate the victims and their family members.

In the case of La Cantuta, in which eight students and their professor were kidnapped, the IACHR ordered the Peruvian state to carry out “immediately” the search for the bodies of those missing, as well as providing compensation.

On the pardon conceded to former president Alberto Fujimori, the Peruvian state has until 29 October to provide information on the “advances by the constitutional authorities” into the pardon, as well as ensuring that the sentences for Barrios Altos and La Cantuta are served.

Finally, the Court invited all the parties to present observations on its rulings

So, although the IACHR has not instructed that Fujimori be returned to jail, it does ask the Peruvian state to re-assess the situation.

When the ruling was made public, Keiko Fujimori published a picture of herself with her father on social media, titled “together on the road to maintaining liberty”. She has been criticised for publishing this image and accused of using her father to win political support, not least because she did very little to achieve his liberation. This has been the source of the growing rift with her brother Kenji, who is now under judicial investigation and has had his parliamentary immunity removed. 

President Martín Vizcarra now has the opportunity to re-evaluate the pardon awarded by his predecessor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, but it remains unclear whether Fujimori will be returned to jail. Either way, the Peruvian state has five months to decide and provide a justification for its actions.

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