A Chilean judge, Orlando Álvarez, has declined to order the extradition to Peru of former president Alberto Fujimori to face charges of human rights violations and corruption. WOLA is surprised and dismayed by his ruling and hopes it will be overturned on appeal.
The ruling wholly contradicts Chilean prosecutor Monica Maldonado's firm recommendation that Fujimori be extradited to face justice in Peru. As presented by the prosecutor, the evidence directly links Fujimori to the notorious Grupo Colina death squad and the Barrios Altos and Cantuta massacres. The evidence is more than adequate to satisfy the standard of probable cause required to find in favor of extradition.
"Rather than refute the substantial evidence against Fujimori, Judge Alvarez's ruling appears to simply ignore it," said WOLA Senior Associate John Walsh.
While disappointed by yesterday's ruling, WOLA also notes that the process is by no means over, with the final decision on whether to extradite Fujimori now in the hands of the criminal chamber of Chile's Supreme Court. Given the gravity of the charges and the strength of the evidence, WOLA remains hopeful that Judge Alvarez's ruling will be reversed and that Fujimori will ultimately face justice in Peru.
"The Chilean Supreme Court's task is to determine whether the evidence warrants extraditing Fujimori to face charges in Peru, not to judge whether Fujimori is innocent or guilty," noted Walsh.