Press Release

IACHR Takes Case Involving Peru to Inter-American Court

December 28, 2011

Washington, D.C. December 28, 2011 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court HR) in Case No. 11.157, Gladys Carol Espinoza Gonzáles, Peru.

The case deals with the illegal and arbitrary arrest of Gladys Carol Espinoza Gonzáles on April 17, 1993, as well as with the rape and other acts constituting torture she endured while in the custody of agents of the former Abduction Investigation Division (DIVISE) and of the National Anti-Terrorism Directorate (DINCOTE), both agencies belonging to the National Police of Peru. Gladys Carol Espinoza had been accused of membership in the MRTA insurgent group and of involvement in abducting business owners in order to procure funds for that group. In addition, the case deals with the subsequent inhumane detention conditions to which she was subjected during her incarceration at Yanamayo Prison between January 1996 and April 2001, without access to adequate medical treatment and food, and where she was denied the possibility of receiving family visits. The case is also related to beatings she received in August 1999, when DINOES agents beat her in sensitive parts of her body, and to the fact that this has not been investigated by the competent authorities, and that the victim did not receive timely medical care. The IACHR found that those acts of violence were neither investigated nor punished by the competent judicial authorities and that to date, they remain surrounded by impunity.

Moreover, the case is related to the use of sexual violence perpetrated by state agents as a war strategy in the context of armed conflicts, and with the inefficacy of the justice systems to conduct diligent investigations to prosecute and punish those responsible for acts of violence against women, particularly when it concerns women under State custody.

The case was sent to the IA Court HR on December 8, 2011, because the Commission deemed that the State had not complied with the recommendations contained in its Report on the Merits of the case. In that report, the IACHR concluded that the State of Peru is responsible for the violation of the right to personal liberty, personal integrity, honor and dignity, and fair trial and judicial protection, as well as its obligation to prevent and punish torture, in detriment of Gladys Carol Espinoza, and the right to integrity of her next of kin.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.


No. 136/11