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We demand justice in the case of forced sterilization in Peru

Mona Lisa Diéguez - Peru ApS

esterilizaciones forzadas perú

In the 90s, thousands of Peruvian women were sterilized without their consent under the implementation of the National Reproductive Health and Family Planning (1996-2000) government of Alberto Fujimori.

There is evidence to indicate that it was a state policy that emphasized surgical sterilization, then called Voluntary Surgical Contraception (VSC) as fast as population control and had quantitative targets that health personnel should be required to fulfill.

The report produced in 2002 by a subcommittee of the Congress of the Peruvian Republic, notes that this policy had direct involvement Alberto Fujimori[1], Showing the contradictions between discourse which stated that "women would be masters of their own fate"[2] with measures taken in the implementation of the program.

Public policy Fujimori was a political discriminatory in that the right to decide was not observed, affecting mainly poor women, indigenous and rural areas of the country, To whom was offering VSC sole contraceptive choice and are pressured to do it. The ultimate goal of the government of the day was to control fertility, lower birth rates and population growth "at any cost".

At least 18 women died as a result of forced sterilizations. Among them were Mary Mestanza, a peasant woman who underwent a tubal ligation in poor condition. Health staff did not respect your right to information and free choice, being pressured, harassed and even threatened to perform such a procedure without a prior medical examination and the corresponding post-operative follow-up.

This case led in 1999 a group of NGOs[3] denounced the Peruvian State to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for violation of the right to life, personal integrity and equality before the law, noting that this was not an isolated case but was number one among event significant cases of women affected by the implementation of government policy as well as being a clear violation of international agreements.

Already in 2003 a friendly settlement agreement, in which the Peruvian State acknowledged its responsibility for the violation of the rights of Mary Mestanza and promised to take remedial measures to benefit the victims, investigate fully subscribed, will penalize those responsible and take preventive measures so that these events are not repeated in the future.

However, access to justice is still pending for victims and their families. Several times the case has been tried to archive. In 2011, the IACHR asked the state to reopen the investigation filed in 2009, before which the Prosecutor's Office issued a resolution ordering the reopening of the investigation.

Este 22 de enero de 2014, a pesar de que la Fiscalía había recibido más de dos mil testimonios de víctimas y existen informes de la Defensoría del Pueblo que documentan denuncias concretas, el fiscal Marco Guzmán Baca ha decidido archivar nuevamente las investigaciones, esta vez dirigidas a Alberto Fujimori y sus ex ministros. Este hecho, además de constituir una vulneración al acuerdo amistoso que suscribió el Estado peruano, es una acción de impunidad frente a una vulneración flagrante y sistemática de derechos de las mujeres.

To read the manifesto click here. To read the manifesto click here.

It is necessary to reaffirm that The state is obliged to guarantee sexual rights and reproductive rights without discrimin. Ninguna persona ni ningún Estado debe vulnerar los cuerpos de las mujeres pretendiendo tener control sobre los mismos ya sea a través de acciones y/o políticas que apliquen esterilizaciones forzadas, embarazos forzados u otras formas de control. El acceso a la justicia y aplicación de esta, es un derecho de todas las personas que el Estado debe garantizar sin discriminación por género, condición socioeconómica, etnia u otra razón. Es inadmisible seguir evidenciando retraso en el acceso a justicia para mujeres pobres del país e impunidad frente a la violación de sus derechos humanos.

Las mujeres tenemos derecho a la vida, a la salud, a decidir sobre nuestro cuerpo y a decidir el número de embarazos que deseamos tener, entre otros derechos. La esterilización o anticoncepción quirúrgica, dentro de la oferta anticonceptiva vigente constituye una opción efectiva a la que podemos acceder para evitar embarazos de manera definitiva, bajo una decisión libre, voluntaria e informada, respetándose así nuestra autonomía e integridad. Cuando la anticoncepción quirúrgica es realizada sin consentimiento de la mujer o bajo presión, es decir, de manera forzada, se convierte en una invasión al cuerpo de la mujer, que vulnera su autonomía y la decisión sobre su propio cuerpo, violando derechos humanos fundamentales reconocidos a nivel nacional e internacional.

Alliance for Solidarity joins demand for women's organizations in Peru and the region for access to justice and reparation for victims of forced sterilization. Remain vigilant for achieving this goal.



[1] The report states in its conclusions: "There is evidence that meetings were held with the presence of President Alberto Fujimori Fujimori, Ministers of State and Regional Directors of Health in Ancon, Paracas and Pachacamac that were intended to favor definitive methods. Are known to interference of the Executive for compulsive application of VSC ".

[2] Words uttered in the Message to the Nation of July 28, 1995.

[3] DEMUS, CLADEM and APRODEH, which subsequently credited as co-petitioners to the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)


2 Responses to "We demand justice in the case of forced sterilization in Peru"

  1. Fabiola Landívar says:

    I wonder what was the pronouncement of the women's movement in this issue on the political status of women obligaroria Sterilization. In particular the organization Flora Tristán, Virginia Vargas and other feminists.

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