Investigation into forced sterilisation reopened

31 December 1969

On 23 August, Prosecutor Luis Landa Burgos ordered the reopening of the investigation into the case against those deemed responsible for the creation of the state programme on human reproduction in the 1990s. This led to the forced sterilisation of hundreds of women.

On 27 July, Prosecutor Marcelita Gutiérrez Vallejos had decided that the case should be closed for lack of evidence of wrongdoing. But Landa Burgos is a higher-level ‘fiscal superior’. Gutiérrez Vallejo had concluded that even though Alberto Fujimori and his ministers had not committed crimes against humanity or had any direct responsibility for them, she set aside 75 cases for further investigation. She will have 30 days in which to reach a new conclusion of the case that brings together a more ‘integrated conclusion’ that takes into account facts of the case that Landa Burgos claims Gutiérrez Vallejo had failed to consider.

Esperanza Huamaya, the leader of the organisations of women affected by sterilisation in Huancabamba, Piura, welcomed this development in the case. She insisted that, as far back as 1998, researcher Giulia Tamayo had shown the links between Fujimori and his ministers and these policies. César Vásquez, the congressman who presides over the congressional commission on health, was also happy to hear about the reopening of the case. He commented how he, as a doctor training in the 1990s, had seen the abuses happen and had been unhappy about the medical profession being blamed for conducting sterilisations.

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