Gloria Cano, Lawyer

Re: Gloria Cano, Lawyer

To: Dra. Nelly Calderón Navarro, Attorney General

From: Julie C. Skinner, Member of LRWC

Date: 2004-11-23

LRWC is alarmed by the attack and death threats that Gloria Cano, a lawyer for the human rights organization Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), has received.

We call upon the Peruvian government to address this matter immediately.

LRWC understands from Amnesty International that Ms. Cano received a death threat by text message on her mobile phone on October 20, 2004, that read “Hello bitch, We are in jail, be aware even of your shadow, you will be reunited with the ‘terrorist’ in hell”.

LRWC is concerned that the threat appears to be an act of intimidation against Gloria Cano and the staff of the human rights organization APRODEH to force them to drop the case of the alleged execution of three MRTA members during a hostage rescue military operation at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in 1997 and their continuing campaign against impunity. LRWC reminds Peru that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has requested that Peru provide information on the steps taken to investigate this matter.

We are also mindful that in January 2003, Ms. Cano was surrounded, verbally abused and then beaten by a group of about 20 unidentified individuals outside APRODEH’s office. This attack appears to be linked to the campaign launched by APRODEH on January 23, 2003 to extradite Alberto Fujimori from Japan.

LRWC understands from Amnesty International that when APRODEH filed a complaint on behalf of the relatives of the victims of the 1992 La Cantuta University killings, they received several death threats and wreaths inscribed with the APRODEH’s managers’ names.

LRWC is gravely concerned for the safety of members of APRODEH and other non-government organizations campaigning for an end to impunity in cases of serious human rights violations by members of the security and armed forces.

APRODEH has filed complaints regarding all of these incidents before the Attorney General’s office. However, it appears that Peruvian authorities have failed to independently and impartially investigate these acts of intimidation.

Failure to protect and investigate violations of the rights of Ms. Cano and other human rights defenders constitutes a significant breach of Peru’s duties under international law and principles. LRWC reminds Peru that international instruments that bind the Peruvian government to implement and enforce these basic rights include, among others, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the American Convention on Human Rights, both of which Peru has ratified.

LRWC urges the government of Peru to:

1. provide adequate protection for Gloria Cano and the staff of the human rights organization APRODEH.

2. open an independent and impartial investigation into the threats and attack, make the findings public, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

3. ensure that such acts of intimidation against human rights defenders do not take place again.

4. ensure that human rights defenders can carry out their legitimate work without the fear of reprisals.

Please advise LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax, of the actions that the government of Peru is taking regarding the matters discussed above. We thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and respectfully await your response.