Ombudsman 'concerned' over new vice-ministry

11 March 2017

On 9 March, the Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo), Walter Gutiérrez, expressed concern about the government’s creation of a new vice-ministry, within the Prime Minister’s office, to deal with territorial governance. Gutiérrez is concerned that the vice-ministry will further marginalise the salience of the National Office for Dialogue and Sustainability (ONDS) which takes responsibility for trying to settle social conflicts.
http://elcomercio.pe/sociedad/peru/defensoria-pueblo-preocupada-nuevo-viceministerio-noticia-1974050

The Ombudsman’s office plays a key role in efforts to resolve conflicts between civil society and the state. It produces a monthly update on conflicts around the country, the most recent of which was published last week. Most of these relate to environmental and social disputes with extractive companies, notably in the mining sector.

In a letter to Prime Minister Fernando Zavala, Gutierrez wrote “The ONDS was created as a specialist technical organ which should have it owns budget. This never happened and, over time, it found itself relegated by the ministries and their sectoral teams”. He went on “Within the new legal framework and structure, the ONDS (which is supposed to operate directly with the president of the Council of Ministers [the prime minister]) becomes a simple secretary under the vice-minister of governance”. This, he alleges “reduces the level” of the ONDS and (by implication) its head, Rolando Luque.

As readers of the PSG newsletter will recall, the appointment of the new vice-minister, Javier Fernández Concha Stucker, a lawyer from the mining industry, has been criticised by NGOs working with communities in mining districts.

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member