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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

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In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                            

Republic of Peru

The situation in Peruvian jails is extremely poor. The average prison population is more than 200 percent of capacity; 40 percent of detainees are in pretrial detention.

  [Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Peru

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Peru.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Peru

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 3 August 2021]


The law prohibits such practices, but there were widespread reports the police employed them, particularly against protesters during then president Merino’s November 10-15 presidency. National and international organizations, members of Congress, the press, and citizens alleged that these acts included: injury of more than 200 persons, including three journalists; the mistreatment of detainees, including degrading and sexually abusive practices; and the deployment of covert police agents who used violence against peaceful demonstrators

Local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the Office of the Ombudsman reported that police used cruel and degrading treatment and stated the government did not effectively prevent these abuses or punish those who committed them. According to NGO representatives, many victims did not file formal complaints about their alleged abusers, and those who did so purportedly had difficulty obtaining judicial redress and adequate compensation.


Physical Conditions: As of August the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) reported the prison system had 89,760 prisoners in 69 facilities designed for a total of 40,137 prisoners. Of inmates, 37 percent were in pretrial detention. The population at the Lurigancho penitentiary, the largest prison in the country, was 3.7 times its prescribed capacity.

Assaults on inmates by prison guards and fellow inmates occurred. An April riot at the Castro-Castro prison resulted in the deaths of 11 inmates.

Inmates had only intermittent access to potable water. Bathing facilities were inadequate, kitchen facilities were unhygienic, and prisoners often slept in hallways and common areas due to the lack of cell space.


Pretrial Detention: Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem. According to an April report by INPE, 37 percent of prisoners were being held under pretrial detention. The length of pretrial detention occasionally equaled but did not exceed the maximum sentence of the alleged crime. Delays were due mainly to judicial inefficiency, corruption, and staff shortages. In accordance with the law, courts released prisoners held more than nine months (up to 36 months in complex cases) whom the justice system had not tried and sentenced. The courts factored pretrial detention into final sentences.

Azul Rojas Marín: Peru found responsible for torture of LGBT person

British Broadcasting Corporation BBC,

[accessed 7  April 2020]

The court was established by the Organization of American States (OAS), and hears cases of human rights abuses in Latin America. It can order governments to investigate crimes and compensate victims.

In the 12 March ruling made public on Monday, it said Ms Rojas Marín's detention was "without a motive", based on "discrimination", and therefore was "illegal and arbitrary".

"[Ms Rojas Marín] was forcibly stripped naked, beaten on several occasions, tortured and raped… constituting an act of torture against the victim," the court said in a statement. "Consequently, the Court has declared Peru's international responsibility for the violation of [her] rights."

Peru: Order to indict Fujimori is a milestone in search for justice for victims of forced sterilization

Amnesty International AI, 28 April 2018

[accessed 12 January 2019]

During the 1990s, approximately 200,000 Peruvian women – mostly indigenous, low-income campesinas and Quechua speakers – were sterilized in a family planning programme.

There is strong evidence that medical personnel were pressured to reach sterilization quotas and that, in most cases, the women did not give their free and informed consent. Many did not receive adequate post-operative care, as a result of which they suffered health problems and 18 of them died.

The senior prosecutor has ordered the indictment of Fujimori and three former health ministers in the cases of five victims of serious injuries that resulted in death, and 2,074 victims of serious injuries.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 13 May 2020]


The situation in Peruvian jails is extremely poor. The average prison population is more than 200 percent of capacity; 40 percent of detainees are in pretrial detention.

Torture in Peru

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (irct)

Developed in collaboration with the Psychosocial Care Centre (CAPS), July 2014

[accessed 23 June 2015]

Torture in Peru was systematic and occurred frequently in locations where the emergency services were based during the country’s years of internal armed conflict (1980-2000). Today torture continues and the fight against torture in the country suffers from significant deficiencies in all areas: prevention; access to justice; and rehabilitation. The inadequate definition of torture in national law, which is not in line with United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), leads to victims facing difficulties in accessing legal help. Compounding this is a lack of independence of the prosecution and judiciary, leading to impunity.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or

[accessed 18 March 2015]


TORTURE - Congress took a significant step in 2014 to combat torture, which continues to be a chronic problem in Peru. In June, it approved a bill mandating the human rights ombudsman to implement the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture (NPM), in fulfillment of Peru’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (OPCAT), which it ratified in 2006. The bill requires the ombudsman, inter alia, to visit and monitor conditions in prisons and detention centers without prior announcement, make proactive and preventive recommendations, and publish an annual report.

Forensic Team Tracks Disappeared Peruvians as Fujimori Returns to Face Justice

Marga Lacabe, AdvocacyNet, News Bulletin 122, Lima, Peru and Washington, DC, October 3, 2007

accessed 24 February 2015]

A Peruvian team of forensic scientists is insisting that the Peruvian government hand-over authority to civil society to locate and identify thousands of Peruvians who went missing during two decades of internal conflict.

EPAF has documented more than 13,000 disappearances – almost 4,000 more than the estimate of the 2003 Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission – and warned that the number will continue to rise.

Mr Baraybar said that most of the missing had been kidnapped by the Peruvian security forces, which used disappearances in their counter-insurgency operations and even wrote the practice into manuals.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated in 2003 that more than 69,000 Peruvians had died in the violence and at least 8,500 had disappeared. According to the Commission, most of those missing were poor, Quechua-speaking Indians. Almost half lived in the Department of Ayacucho.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/PER/CO/4 (2006)

[accessed 5 March 2013]

Persistence of complaints of torture and cruel treatment

12. The Committee takes note of the decline in the number of complaints of police torture submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman during the period 1999 to 2004.  Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that complaints continue to be received against officials of the national police, the Armed Forces and the prison system.  It is also concerned that complaints of torture and cruel treatment continue to be received in respect of recruits on military service.

Office of the Ombudsman

13. The Committee acknowledges the important role played by the Office of the Ombudsman in the promotion and protection of human rights in Peru, and draws particular attention to its role in the inspection of places of detention.  The Committee expresses concern at the frequency with which the authorities fail to comply with their obligation to cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman and at the State party’s failure to implement its recommendations.

Intimidation and threats

20. The Committee expresses concern over the allegations it has received of reprisals, intimidation and threats against those who report acts of torture and ill-treatment, and at the lack of effective mechanisms to protect witnesses and victims.  The Committee regrets that human rights defenders who have cooperated with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have been subjected to threats.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES - Allegations of arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, and excessive use of force by the security forces were reported during protests against extractive projects.


For more articles:: Search Amnesty International’s website

[accessed 10 January 2019]

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Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the law prohibits such practices, there continued to be reports of torture of detainees, excessive use of force against protesters, and abuse of military recruits. The authorities seldom held responsible those who allegedly committed abuses.

Torture often occurred immediately following arrest, when families were prohibited from visiting suspects held incommunicado, and when attorneys had limited access (see section 1.d.).

In some cases police and security forces threatened or harassed victims, their relatives, and witnesses to keep them from filing charges of human rights violations. According to COMISEDH, some victims were reluctant to pursue judicial proceedings against their abusers, fearing that the abusers would be released without being charged. COMISEDH reported 14 cases of aggravated torture by security forces from January to September, compared with 22 cases in total during 2004. Human rights observers noted that the torture cases normally were not the result of orders from central authorities, but rather represented brutal practices that originated during the campaign against terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s.

The January 2004 case of John Robert Osorio Morales, who was detained and beaten by police, was transferred in July to the third supraprovincial prosecutor of Lima for further investigation.

In September the National Penal Court, formerly the National Terrorism Court, accepted the August 2004 case of Pablo Fabio Sanchez Conde, who was allegedly tortured by police officers after being detained along with his brother, Miguel. COMISEDH charged that the two also suffered threats from the same police officers accused of abusing them.

There were no significant developments in the investigation of the following cases from 2003 involving prison guards: the beating of Wilber Escobedo; the alleged torture of an inmate at Challapalca prison; and the alleged torture of Miguel Angel Vela del Aguila.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Peru",, [accessed <date>]