Gloria Cano, Lawyer

Re: Gloria Cano, Lawyer

To: Dra. Nelly Calderon Navarro, Attorney General

From: Charles B. Davison, Member of LRWC

Date: 2004-11-17

I am writing to you at this time concerning the case of Gloria Cano, who is a lawyer with the Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos who has recently received death threats which appear to be linked directly to her work and role as legal counsel.

We understand that on October 20, 2004 Ms. Cano received a telephone threat in which the caller referred to being in jail and said that Ms. Cano would “be reunited with the ‘terrorist’ in hell.” In light of the recent work being undertaken by Ms. Cano and APRODEH, there is reason to believe that this threat arose from their efforts to achieve justice in the case of three persons killed after a hostage taking at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador in 1997. After the end of the siege, three of the apparent hostage takers were found dead, apparently having been shot after surrendering to the authorities. Three high-ranking intelligence officials have been in custody for the last 18 months but are apparently going to be released soon as they have not yet been tried for their alleged involvement in the deaths. In the circumstances, there is reason to believe that the threat against Ms. Cano may have originated with these three prisoners, or their supporters.

While Ms. Cano has filed a complaint about the October 20 threat with the Attorney General’s Office, the matter has not yet been investigated. We understand that in the past, in similar situations, threats against APRODEH or members of this organization – and a January 2003 assault upon Ms. Cano herself – have not been investigated by the authorities, either.

In these circumstances, we respectfully call upon you to ensure that the most recent threat against Gloria Cano is fully and properly investigated, and that those who are believed to be responsible be brought to justice in accordance with standards of international law. Furthermore, we call upon you to immediately implement any necessary measures to ensure that all who work peacefully for the recognition and protection of the human rights of any person or group in Peru are protected from threats or actual acts of violence and harm. Human rights workers are entitled to carry out their work without threat of death or intimidation and the government of Peru has a positive duty to ensure that proper and effective protection is available for this purpose.