WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
8 Apr 2009 | News

Peru’s Supreme Court Condemns Crimes of the State: The Victims Attain Justice

On April 7th former president Alberto Fujimori was sentenced by the Peruvian Supreme Court's Criminal Chamber to 25 years in prison, the maximum sentence applicable, for the crimes of Barrios Altos, la Cantuta, and the kidnappings of Gustavo Gorriti and Samuel Dyer.  The court's verdict explains comprehensively and in great detail the evidence that incriminates Fujimori in the commission of rimes against humanity.  The verdict also provides the facts that prove the existence of a criminal plan that was carried out by an organized instrument of power under Fujimori's control.  The verdict undermines the defendant's arguments and establishes the truth about what took place.

The trial of Alberto Fujimori constitutes a milestone in the fight against impunity and in favor of human rights in Peru and worldwide.  For the first time a former president of Peru was brought to justice for crimes against humanity.  And for the first time in history a former president has been extradited to his own country to face such charges.

The trial of the former president demonstrates how the administration of justice, through an independent and autonomous national court and a diligent prosecution, is capable of guaranteeing the defendant a fair and impartial trial, and guaranteeing the protagonists of the tragedies a voice in history.

The verdict that holds Fujimori culpable for the serious crimes committed is largely the result of the tireless fight of the victims and relatives, their legal team, the human rights movement, and other social actors who accompanied them on this long journey.

The sentence is based on advances in criminal law, at both the national and international level, which provided the legal precepts and reasoning adequate to encompass a judgment on crimes against humanity.  The decision in the case of former president Alberto Fujimori is a precedent in the efforts being made in Peru and in all of Latin America region to eliminate deeply-rooted impunity and to promote more fully the rights to truth, justice and reparation.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
The Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF)
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)