On October 20, 2004 Gloria Cano, a lawyer with Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH), received a threatening text message on her cell phone. The message read: Hello bitch, we are in jail, be aware even of your shadow, you will be reunited with the ‘terrorist’ in hell (Hola perra, nos estamos en la carcel, cuidate hasta de tu sombre te vas a reunir con el terruco en el infierno yelmo). The threat is believed to be in connection with Ms. Cano’s work for the families of three members of the armed opposition group Moyimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA), who were extrajudicially executed in a military operation to rescue 72 hostages from the home of the Japanese Ambassador in 1997.

The threat came one day after a press release by APRODEH regarding concerns with the release of Vladimiro Montesinos (former Presidential Adviser on Intelligence), Nicolas Hermoza Rios (former Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces) and Roberto Huaman Azcura (former hed of the Servicio de Inteligencia Militar), all of whom were members of former President Alberto Fujimori’s administration, and had been detained pending a trial for the deaths of the three MRTA members. They are being released because they have been in detention for 18 months, which exceeds the maximum time for pre-trial detention allowed by Peruvian law.

On October 22, 2004, Ms. Cano and several other Peruvian human rights workers travelled to the U.S. to deliver a report on the human rights situation in Peru to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Immediately upon her return to Peru, on October 25, 2004, Ms. Cano reported the threat to the Attorney General’s office. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the Peruvian Government to keep them informed of the investigation of Ms. Cano’s complaint.

This incident was not the first time Ms. Cano has been subject to intimidation. In January 2003 Ms. Cano was physically and verbally assaulted by a group of 20 unidentified persons outside APRODEH’s office. This attack was believed to be linked to a campaign launched by APRODEH on January 23, 2003 to have Alberto Fujimori extradited from Japan; this attack was not investigated by the authorities.

LRWC has written Dr. Fausto Humberto Alvarado Doredo, the Peruvian Attorney General, requesting a proper investigation of the most recent threat against Ms. Cano and bring those responsible to justice. LRWC has also called on the Peruvian Government to afford proper protection to all human rights workers in Peru so they are free to carry out their work without fear for their safety.


Letter Written November 17, 2004 by Charles B. Davidson