The trial of former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimori, is nearing conclusion. Fujimori, who ruled Peru between 1990 and 2000, is being prosecuted for human rights violations, and faces further charges for corruption and abuse of authority. The trial began on December 10, 2007, shortly after Fujimori was extradited to Peru from Chile. Fujimori had evaded justice since 2000, when he fled Peru after a series of corruption scandals came to light.
Prosecutors and the lawyers representing survivors and family members of victims made their closing remarks in February. Fujimori's defense attorney is now concluding his arguments, after which Fujimori will have the opportunity to address the court himself. The Supreme Court judges hearing the case are then expected to reconvene in late March or early April to announce their verdict.
In an effort to assess the significance of the Fujimori trial for Peru and for global efforts to achieve accountability for atrocities, the Center for Global Studies (CGS) at George Mason University, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and the Lima-based Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL) convened an international symposium entitled, "Human Rights Tribunals in Latin America: The Fujimori Trial in Comparative Perspective." The symposium took place in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2008.
Fifteen distinguished speakers from Latin America and the United States evaluated the efforts of governments, human rights organizations and civil society groups more broadly, as well as international actors, to combat impunity and to strengthen the rule of law and democracy. The rapporteur's report, available here, highlights the symposium's central themes and is an important resource for understanding the role of human rights tribunals in promoting truth, justice and reconciliation in Latin America. The report is also available in Spanish.
Several participants in the October 2 symposium have also produced working papers, which analyze in greater depth different aspects of the Fujimori trial, as well as the other human rights trials underway in Latin America. We invite you to access the working papers available at the CGS website.