Peru: Garcia to Oppose Human Rights Court Ruling
Way back in 1992, second year Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, unhappy with the gridlock of democracy and faced with a growing rebel movement, decided to dissolve Congress, annul the Constitution and and begin a Dictatorial reign in concert with the military. After widespread condemnation, the United States decided to support Fujimori's path and defended him from attacks from the likes of the Organization of American States.
In this context the Peruvian armed forces launched an assault on the Castro Castro prison which was full of suspected and convicted members of the Maoist Shining Path movement, including several leaders. Over the course of some days, at least 41 were killed and there is evidence that many were summarily executed.
The killers evaded justice, along with the executioners of several surrended rebels who had taken over an Embassy the same year. The case was brought to the Inter-American Human Rights Court, who last month ruled that the country must publicly apologize for the extra-judicial killings of unarmed prisoners and provide compensation to their families. This has very much upset new President Alan Garcia, who (not coincidentally) has several similar episodes under his belt, from when he was President in the 1980s. Garcia's rejection of the decision comes only one month after he publicly pledged to uphold any human right court decisions.
The BBC has more:
Peru slams ruling on rebel rights
By Dan Collyns, BBC News
Peru's president has said he will challenge an international human rights court after it ruled the country should compensate families of rebels killed.
In December, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered Peru to pay the families of Shining Path rebels killed in a prison riot 15 years ago.
But Alan Garcia says he cannot allow Peruvian taxpayers to pay the $20m (£10.3m, 15.4m euros) in compensation (and is considering pulling out of the the Court's jurisdiction).
He also criticised his predecessor, Alejandro Toledo, for allowing so many allegations of human rights abuses to be dealt with by the supra-national court.
Human rights groups have welcomed the court ruling as an opportunity for Peru, as a signatory to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, to acknowledge the human rights abuses committed during the civil war in the 1980s and 1990s.
Around 70,000 people died in that era - a significant proportion of them at the hands of government forces and their vigilante groups.
Former President Fujimori fled Peru in 2000 amid a corruption scandal. He is now living in Chile from where Peru is seeking his extradition on human rights and embezzlement charges.
Peru has been ordered to pay up to $20m (£10.3m) in compensation and has a year to comply with the court's demands.
But some analysts say the current government of Alan Garcia is reluctant to agree to the court's ruling as Mr Garcia himself faces accusations of political responsibility for a prison massacre in 1986 during his first term as president.
We will closely watch how the human rights groups and OAS respond to this blatant rejection of the Rule of Law, rights to life and judicial procedures.
Oh, I just also learned that the Peruvian Congress held fast and defeated Garcia's attempt to re-institute the death penalty in Peru. Garcia's approval rating is apparently heading down the tubes, but he'll always have friends in Washington given that he defeated a strong leftist challenge in last year's election.