Human Rights In Peru

716 Words3 Pages
One of the primary reasons for the difficulty in bringing the perpetrators of the human rights violations to account in post-conflict Peru was that there were not one, but two distinct groups who carried out the human rights violations during the period of conflict. These were the guerrilla organisations who operated at the time and the ruling government. The existence of two separate entities committing human rights abuses meant it was more difficult to determine, and bring to justice the people violating the human rights of the Peruvian people. The guerrilla organisations involved in the Peruvian armed struggle were the Marxist-Leninist group - the Tupac Amaru Military Revolution (or MRTA) and the Maoist insurgency group - Sendero Luminoso…show more content…
The MRTA group became active in Lima in the mid-1980s (Burt, 2009, pp.392-3), and while they were responsible for some of the violations of the human rights of the Peruvian people, it was Sendero Luminoso who were accountable for the majority of human rights abuses committed during that time (Carrión, 2003, p.1). Sendero Luminoso, although originally founded in 1970, was relatively unknown until Peru’s transition from military rule to democracy in 1980. Sendero recognised this political transition as the opportune moment to begin their insurgency attacks on the state (Reid, 1985, p.107) and in a short number of years Sendero Luminoso transformed from being a small insurgency group located in the rural Ayacucho region of Peru, to being a large, guerrilla organisation waging war against the Peruvian state (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994, p.173). Sendero’s communist ideology strived to protect the indigenous people of the rural Andean highlands. These indigenous communities were far less economically developed than Peru’s cities, where the people were predominantly of Hispanic or Mestizo (mixed race) origin. The people in Peru’s cities experienced a far greater quality life than those in the indigenous communities, with a life expectancy of…show more content…
However, the report also discovered that the guerrilla groups were not the only perpetrators of human rights violations during that time, and the Peruvian state were responsible for 37% of the human rights violations which took place (Burt, 2009, pp.392-3). The Peruvian governmental forces used violence and abuse to combat the guerrilla organisations’ terrorism, a strategy which ultimately lead to grave violations of the Peruvian people’s human rights (Carey and Mitchell, 2013, p.286). Initially, the state did not have a strong response to the guerrilla terrorism (Reid, 1985, pp.110-1) and ignored Sendero’s first insurgency attempts, such as the burning of electoral ballot boxes in Ayacucho (Feinstein, 2003). However, in late 1981, after a guerrilla attack on a Police post, the state’s counter-insurgency responses began to escalate (Reid, 1985, pp.110-1). In 1982, Peru’s ruling president Fernando Belaunde Terry, intensified the counter-insurgency responses even further, declaring a state of emergency in Peru. This state of emergency gave political authority to the Peruvian military and allowed the government to ignore the unethical, human rights violating counter-insurgency campaign which ensued (Roberts, 1998, p.225). The state, under quasi-military rule, conducted massacres,
Open Document