Peru Votes To Pardon Crimes Against Humanity

( – The government of Peru recently voted to limit the prosecution of crimes against humanity to acts that occurred after 2002. The law passed on July 4 and is being criticized for encouraging further acts of criminal behavior by allowing men accused of wrongdoing in the late 20th century off the hook.

Former President Alberto Fujimori and many retired members of the military who executed state policy were previously scrutinized for their role in suppressing violent political movements within the South American country as recently as 2000 which left thousands dead and injured in the aftermath.

The Peruvian chief prosecutor estimated that there were 550 victims and 600 cases still pending that will be nullified by the law, dismissed due to the new statute of limitations.

Fujimori had previously served time for his role in the government killing 25 Peruvians affiliated with a violent communist organization called the Shining Path. He was president of Peru from 1990 through the year 2000. Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, was one of the main drivers pushing for the passage of the new law.

The law was passed after a second vote last week. Current President Dina Boluarte may sign it into law or send it back to the congress with additional recommendations. There’s been no indication of her intentions so far.

Many lawmakers and members of the military were publicly in support of the bill. Leftists oppose the bill as they believe the crimes of members of the government haven’t been fully elaborated as evidenced by the hundreds of cases still ongoing.

Former Peruvian intelligence boss Vladimiro Montesinos and a close aide to Fujimori while he was president were sentenced to 19 years for their role in a 1992 killing of six farmers who were executed by a covert unit of soldiers.

Independent investigations suggested the individuals were indigenous locals who were caught in the crossfire between the Shining Path’s radical communists and local police. The same commission claimed as many as 70,000 people were killed in the fighting between the extremists and government forces during the 80s and 90s.

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