Information transmitted to the Government
426. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur transmitted to the Government of Peru a summary of the main allegations received with regard to the practice of torture in the country, as well as a number of individual cases. In addition, the Special Rapporteur made two urgent appeals on behalf of persons who, according to information received, were at risk of being tortured.
(a) Information transmitted to the Government with regard to the practice of torture in general
427. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received ample information on the practice of torture in the country by security forces. In particular, it was reported that the new decrees on terrorism promulgated since April 1992 contained a series of rules which facilitated the practice of torture on persons detained on suspicion of terrorism, a term which was extremely vaguely defined. As a result of some of these rules:
(i) The right of defence was limited by the fact that the lawyer was not allowed to intervene during the period of detention by the police before the detainee had submitted his declaration to the prosecutor. Preventive detention could last 15 days for accusations of terrorism and even more for charges of betraying the country.
(ii) The police was given broad discretionary powers during preventive detention, such as the right to keep the detainee incommunicado. For charges of betraying the country, the police might set the time-limit for preventive detention beyond the legal limit of 15 days, and might even decide to extend it. These powers were not subject to control by the jurisdictional authorities.
(iii) The exercise of the remedy of habeas corpus was prohibited both during the police investigation and during the judicial investigation.
428. Reports also spoke of a link between the practice of torture on the one hand and involuntary disappearances and summary or arbitrary executions on the other hand. Those who reappeared after long periods of unacknowledged detention and the bodies of victims of extrajudicial executions very frequently showed marks of physical violence. Such cases apparently occurred in various parts of the country, but they were most common in rural and urban areas where a state of emergency had been declared and where the military presence was therefore strong. Thus, for example, the Special Rapporteur had received a list of 24 students from the National University of Central Peru who were allegedly executed in the city of Huancayo between August and October 1992 and whose bodies showed marks of physical violence.
429. According to the information received, the most commonly used methods of torture were beatings, suffocation, electric shocks, suspension by the arms for long periods of time, death threats and mutilation. Sexual abuse and rape were also reported to be routine in the areas under a state of emergency.
430. In almost all cases received by the Special Rapporteur, responsibility for torture was attributed to members of the armed forces and police forces stationed in the areas under a state of emergency. However, members of the police serving in the rest of the country were sometimes also identified as perpetrators. A large proportion of cases went unreported, either because the victim was afraid or under threat, or because in many cases the claims were difficult to substantiate; indeed, in the majority of cases the kind of medical or legal attention which would make it possible to provide a minimum amount of documentation was simply not available. Procurators and judges had reportedly often refused to act on claims lodged by the victims, or had accepted as valid declarations obtained by force during the police investigation or detention.
(b) Information transmitted to the Government regarding the practice of rape and sexual abuse against women
431. The Special Rapporteur also received abundant information regarding the practice of rape and sexual abuse of which women were frequently the victims in connection with the campaign by security forces against insurgent groups. Thus, rape would seem to be used as a weapon to punish, intimidate and humiliate.
432. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse were apparently sometimes combined with other methods of torture, such as electric shocks, during police interrogations. In territories under a state of emergency, on the other hand, rape was perpetrated within the framework of the armed conflict, in rural areas, without prior detention, and seemed to be used as a form of intimidation or punishment against civilian groups suspected of collaboration with insurgent groups. Incidents of this type were reported to have occurred, for example, at Chilcahuayco and Vilcashuamán, Ayacucho, in September 1990 and at San Pedro de Cachi, Ayacucho, in July 1991.
433. It was also reported that the perpetrators were rarely prosecuted, even in cases which had been reported to the competent authorities. The military courts ignored such cases and did not place the accused at the disposal of the civil courts in accordance with their obligation under the law. This situation of impunity combined with other factors, such as the difficulty of providing proof or the attitude of society towards the victims meant that a large proportion of cases were not even reported. The following individual cases were communicated:
(a) Pilar Coqchi was arrested on 23 January 1990 in Huamanga, Ayacucho, on accusation of activities connected with the Sendero Luminoso in the district of Belén. While in detention she was allegedly raped several times and was subjected to other forms of torture, such as beating, suffocation and hanging. Though the case was reported to the government procurator, no charges were filed against any members of the police, for lack of evidence.
(b) María Flores Valenzuela and her 17-year-old daughter, Zunilda Pineda Flores, peasants from the town of Carcosi, were arrested in September 1990 by soldiers from Julcamarca military base in Huancavelica. Upon arrival at the base they were reportedly tied to a post and left in the sun for several hours. They were then raped by several soldiers and released on the following day.
(c) Virginia Huamaní Garay and Luz María Blas Sánchez were arrested by a military patrol on 15 August 1991 while waiting for a bus on a street in Lima. They were reportedly taken to a factory guarded by the army, raped by 12 soldiers and warned not to report the incident.
(d) Maria Elena Loayza Tamayo, professor at the University of San Martín de Porres, was arrested on 6 February 1993 in Lima by members of the National Directorate against Terrorism (DINCOTE) on suspicion of maintaining links with members of the Sendero Luminoso. She was kept incommunicado from 6 to 15 February during which time she was reportedly beaten and kicked mainly in the head and thorax, submerged in water to simulate drowning, and raped several times, in order to obtain her confession.
(c) Individual cases transmitted to the Government
434. Higinio Quispe Pérez, Vice-President of the Rural Brigades of the area of San Pedro de Sulcán, Concepción, Huancayo, department of Junín, and Eleuterio Inga were arrested by soldiers on 12 April 1991 and taken to Chaquicocha military base where they were reportedly beaten in order to force them to provide information on terrorist activities. On the following day they were transferred to Chupaca base where, together with Héctor Méndez Córdoba, they were reported to have been severely beaten, with hoods over their heads and their hands tied behind their backs throughout.
435. Rafael Leandro Rodríguez Eduardo, was reportedly ill-treated on the premises of El Tambo police station in the department of Junín where he had gone to report a robbery in June 1991. He was reportedly blindfolded, beaten on various parts of the body including the ears and genitals. His arms were then tied behind his back and water with detergent was sprayed in his face, after which he was suspended by his arms from a beam.
436. Senobio Enríquez Vargas was arrested on 24 January 1992 at Manta, Huancavelica, by, it is suspected, members of the army from the local military base, and was reported to have been severely beaten and cut in the left arm and the chest with a knife.
437. Juan Arnaldo Salomé Aduato was arrested in Huancayo, Junín, on 24 April 1991 by members of the police and taken to the 9 de Diciembre police station where he remained until his release on 10 June 1991. During his detention he was reportedly severely beaten, suffocated, suspended in the air and deprived of food.
438. José Natividad Flores Rojas, ex-President of the Rural Brigades of San Juan, was arrested on 22 July 1992 at Bagua Chica, Bagua, Amazonas, by members of the army from the Fifth Forest infantry division. He was detained for 13 days, during which he was reportedly severely beaten and subjected to electric shocks. He was also reported to have been left suspended for long periods, which caused dislocation of the arms at the shoulders.
439. Nazario Edgar Flores Castro, organizational secretary of the National Mining Federation, was arrested by police officers at Yauli, Oroya, Junín, on 15 May 1992 and taken to the local police station. He was detained for one week, during which he was reported to have been severely beaten with blunt instruments.
440. Antártico Daniel Salas Córdova was arrested in the district of San Martín, Lima, on 27 April 1992 by members of the National Police. He was taken to a police station where he died a few hours later. The autopsy report allegedly attributed the death to suffocation as a result of physical violence.
441. Nancy Luz Pimentel Cuéllar, a student at Enrique Guzmán y Valle University in suburban Lima, was arrested at her home at Chosica on 10 October 1992 by members of the armed forces, beaten, and taken to DINCOTE. Among other forms of ill-treatment, electric shocks were applied to her fingertips and head until she fainted. She was released without charges and without acknowledgement of detention on 2 November 1992.
442. Martha Huatay Ruiz, a lawyer and a member of the Association of Democratic Lawyers and of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) Sendero Luminoso, was arrested on 17 October 1992. Before being sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court, she was tortured on the premises of DINCOTE. The Lima Bar Association was reported to have issued a public condemnation of this torture.
443. Commander Marco Antonio Zárate Rotta, Commander Enrique Aguilar del Alcázar, Major César Cáceres Haro and retired Major Salvador Carmona Bernasconi were arrested in November 1992 following an attempted coup d'état. They were reportedly held incommunicado for 10 days on the premises of the National Intelligence Service at Lima. They were all reported to have been subjected to such torture as beatings, electric shocks and being suspended.
444. Alberto Calipuy Valverde and Rosenda Yauri Ramos were arrested in March 1993 in the district of Angasmarca, province of Santiago de Chuco, department of La Libertad. They were found dead shortly thereafter in a deserted area. According to information received, they died as a result of ill-treatment inflicted at the military base.
445. Wigberto Vásquez Vásquez, President of the Committee for the Defence of the Interests of the People of San Ignacio; Plácido Alvarado Campos, President of the Provincial Federation of Rural and Urban Brigades; Víctor Morales Labán, President of the United Federation of Peasants and Brigades of San Ignacio (FUCASI); Crisanto Velásquez Flores, Director of FUCASI; Guillermo Granda Rodríguez, President of the Comittee of Agrarian Producers of San Ignacio; Guillermo Oyola Cornejo, secretary of the Provincial Federation of Rural and Urban Brigades of San Ignacio; Javier García Huamán, peasant; Benjamín García Huamán, peasant; Daniel Cruz Bautista, peasant; and Samuel Huamán Huamán, peasant. According to the information received, these 10 members of the Committee for the Defence of the Forests of San Ignacio, province of San Ignacio, department of Cajamarca, were arrested on
27 June 1992 by members of the police and subjected to such forms of torture as beatings, suspension or immersion of the head in water.
446. Marcos González Tuanama was arrested on 29 April 1992 by a military patrol and taken to Mariscal Cáceres military base in the department of San Martín. While under interrogation he was reportedly subjected to torture in the form of electric shocks and beatings.
447. Antero Peña Peña, a peasant leader and ex-President hf the Quispampa Community (Huancabamba province, department of Piura) and Manager of the Regional Agrarian Federation of Piura, was arrested on 27 May 1993 by members of the army stationed in Huancabamba. For three days he was allegedly severely beaten, losing consciousness on several occasions, and he was threatened with death if he disclosed his ill-treatment.
(d) Urgent appeals
448. The Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Government on 22 June 1993 concerning María Lucero Cumpa Miranda, who was detained in Lima by members of the police early in May 1993. Another appeal was made on 16 August 1993 on behalf of Juan Abelardo Mallea Tomailla, a taxi driver, who was detained in Lima on 10 July 1993 by members of DINCOTE.
Information received from the Government with respect to cases included in previous reports
449. On 18 December 1992 the Government sent a reply on the cases of Jorge Nabid León Ramírez and his brother César, reported to have been seriously beaten outside their home in Ayacucho in January 1992. The Government indicated that these persons had neither been arrested by military personnel nor ill-treated by members of the Huamanga Garrison.
Information submitted by the Government in connection with Commission resolution 1993/48
450. The Government submitted a number of notes verbales reporting on activities carried out by the Shining Path and MRTA terrorist groups in different parts of the country, including, selective murders, indiscriminate car bombings, threats against the life, person or property of individuals and kidnapping.
451. The Government also provided information on a number of decrees promulgated in 1992 and 1993 in order to combat terrorism and pacify the country, including measures for reducing sentences and for repentance and amendments to the Code of Military Justice intended to protect better the rights of those accused of terrorism and treason. The Government also submitted information on its policy for the defence and promotion of human rights within the context of the pacification policy. It was further reported that, in the previous months there had been a reduced number of encounters between security forces and terrorist organizations and, therefore, the number of allegations of human rights violations had decreased.
452. The Special Raporteur understands the gravity and ferocity of the insurgency that has confronted Peru since 1980. The atrocities committed by the insurgents no more justify torture than they do enforced disappearances or summary executions. The impunity effectively enjoyed by those responsible for such crimes calls for firm action backed by political will with a view to ensuring individual accountability by the security forces.