STATEMENT ON PERU
OAS Secretary General César Gaviria expresses his profound concern over the recent developments in Peru, which endanger the country's return to full democratic normalcy.
The Secretary General considers any measure in relation to the asylum petition by Mr. Vladimiro Montesinos to the government of Panama or any other state to be exhausted, given that the government of President Fujimori has seen his return as something natural and compatible with the country's democracy and not something that seriously jeopardizes democratic stability in Peru. That was the reason this secretariat and many countries in the Americas acted some days ago.
In the opinion of the Secretary General, Mr. Montesinos needs to answer to the Peruvian justice system, even though the particular conditions for the administration of justice have not yet made that possible in judicial rulings. His actions, which the whole world viewed with shock and indignation, require the government of Peru and the armed forces to ensure that he is kept at a distance from public decision-making.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Montesinos decided to return on the same day that the government presented its proposal for reconciliation, as this creates the effect of intimidating the opposition and civil society which is incompatible with the climate of mutual respect and understanding which should prevail.
The government's proposal contains, without a doubt, elements that call for understanding, consensus and reconciliation. Proposals put forth regarding the national electoral bodies (the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones and the Oficina de Procesos Electorales) are also very positive, as is the decision to consult Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) and the government of Canada.
At this moment, it is up to only the political and social bodies of Peru to comment on the government's proposed national policy of reconciliation and on whether or not it is compatible with democracy and the preservation of the rule of law. This Secretariat hopes that the forces that represent the government do not subject the agreements it has formally accepted regarding a new electoral process to norms that they impose unilaterally. It also hopes that the armed forces contribute in this difficult transition to strengthen democratic institutions and support the agreements that have been reached formally by the government, opposition parties and civil society.
The OAS General Secretariat considers it imperative that both sides reiterate their confidence in the dialogue that has been proceeding under our responsibility, and that they fulfill and honor the commitments they have made before the inter-American community of nations and the citizens of Peru.
The Secretary General and the Ambassador of Canada to the OAS, Peter Boehm, in representation of his government, will travel to Peru to strengthen the mechanisms that have served as a framework for political dialogue and to defend the accords that will ensure Peru's full return to its democratic institutions.