Police Kill Farmer During Clash

By Cintia Garcia

Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

LIMA, PERU—On Friday, a farmer, Quintino Cerceda Huilca, was shot in the head and killed by police during a clash in the highland region of Apurimac. Congressman Richard Arce, who represents the region, confirmed the death caused by police officers attempting to clear the road.

Mining company in Las Bambas is not abiding by the environment plan. (Photo Courtesy of America Economia)
Mining company in Las Bambas is not abiding the environment plan. (Photo Courtesy of America Economia)

An estimated 200 villagers protested the Chinese company, MMG Ltd’s $10-billion Las Bambas copper mine, for changing its environmental plan. The protestors had been blocking the road leading to Las Bambas copper mine for nearly a week. They were met by police dressed in riot gear. A community lawyer stated that about 21 to 34 local community members were injured, including some with bullet wounds. In addition to the injured, 12 protestors were arrested. Peru’s interior ministry released a statement claiming that they lamented the death of the farmer. The office also stated that 20 policemen were injured during the clash and the matter is under investigation. This was the first death related to a mining protest.

A community spokesman stated, “The community has never disagreed with the project. They are not anti-mining. The issue is that they cheated us, they lied to use. The ore was going to go through a pipeline, not trucks that are polluting the fields.” The remote community claims that an estimated 300 trucks pass through the area every day affecting their way of life, including their livestock. In addition, some of the demonstrators have stated that some of their communal land had been used without permission to construct a paved road leading to the mine.

Peru’s economy has grown within the past year due to copper production. La Bamba mine is expected to make Peru the second largest copper producer in the world. La Bamba alone produced 35,000 tonnes of copper in August.

Reuters—One Killed in Peru Protests Against Las Bambas Copper Mine—14 October 2016.

America Economia—Al Menos Una Persona Muere Durante Protesta Contra Minera de Cobre La Bambas en Peru—15 October 2016.

Peru Reports—Peru Police Kill Protester Near Las Bambas Copper Mine—15 October 2016.

TeleSur–Mining-Related Clash with Police Leaves One Dead in Peru—15 October 2016.

Executions by the Peruvian National Police

By Cintia Garcia

Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

LIMA, PERU–The newly appointed president, Pablo Kuczynski, the Attorney General and Office of the Inspector General will open an investigation following accusations that the national police force carried out extrajudicial killings of 27 people from 2011-2015. All 27 victims were Peruvian civilians from Lima, Ica, and Chiclayo. The police considered those they killed a nuisance or a common criminal. Innocent victims are alleged to be among the dead.

The National Police Force is under fire after accusations emerge of death squad. (Photo Courtesy of RPP Noticias)

Ninety-Six members of the police force, including sixteen highly ranked officials, are among those being investigated. The units within the force being investigated are: Robbery, Intelligence, anti-terrorism, and a unit similar to SWAT. They were all under the command of Enrique Prado Ravines, a highly ranked police commander. The inspector general’s office will head the commission and investigation. The minister of interior affairs, Carlos Basombrio made it clear to the nation that “the authorities are treating the case with utmost seriousness and will have zero tolerance for the police abuses.” He continued to state that it is important to protect the institution from the bad elements. The goal of the investigation is to release a report to the nation within 10 days detailing the situation.

The allegations were brought forth by members of the police force. After receiving the complaints, the inspector general’s office immediately conducted a month long investigation that confirmed the irregularities within the force. The allegations stated that commander Enrique Prado Ravines would pay lower ranked officials to carry out the killings—which his attorney denies. The claims accuse him of creating a plan to lure the victims by using local gang and criminal organizations. These organizations would kidnap the victims and the lower ranked police officers would kill the captive’s execution style. Forensic reports have revealed that all the victims were shot in a downward trajectory most common among death squads. It was stated that Enrique Prado Ravines killed the individuals because he sought personal career advancements and monetary gains.

Such death squads have not existed in Peru since the dictatorship of Fujimori—a president that carried various human rights violations and is currently serving time in prison.

For more information please see:

RPP Noticias—Un Grupo de Policías es Acusado de Ejecuciones—31 Julio 2016

El Comercio—Presunta Ejecución de Delincuentes: en 10 días Emitirán Informe—01 August 2016

El Economista—Peru investiga a un Centenary de Agentes de la Policia por Presuntas Ejecuciones Extrajudiciales—01 August 2016

Telesurtv—Peru Investigates suspected Death Squad in the Police Force—2 August 2016

Van der Sloot , Accused of Flores Murder and Suspected in Holloway Disappearance, Suing Chilean Government for $10 Million

by Emilee Gaebler
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

LIMA, Peru – Joran Van der Sloot, the Dutch citizen accused of murdering Peruvian student, Stephany Flores, has brought a suit demanding US $10 million in damages from the Chilean government.  Van der Sloot claims that his human rights were violated in extraditing him from Chile to Peru.  He has filed his claim with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Van der Sloot in the custody of Peruvian police June 2010. (Photo Courtesy of NY Daily News)

In the petition Van der Sloot names the Chilean government, the former Peruvian President Alan García, former Peruvian Minister of the Interior Octavio Salazar, the Chilean police generals Miguel Hidalgo and Cesar Guardia and even the father of his victim, Ricardo Flores.

The claims made by Van der Sloot are varied.  First he claims that then-Peruvian President García used pressure to force the Chilean government to extradite him to Peru in May of 2010.  Next, is his contention that when he was taken into custody, Chilean police refused to allow him access to a phone or any other form of communication to speak with his family.   Van der Sloot also says he was denied the right to legal counsel and a fair trial.

This is not the first complaint that Van der Sloot has made about violations of his rights.  A previous suit was filed alleging that Peruvian officials did not have a warrant for his arrest and that he was denied a translator which lead to his confusion during initial questioning.  Peruvian courts dismissed this claim.

Van der Sloot’s current complaint was filed just days after a judge’s ruling that he would stand trial for the murder of Stephany Flores beginning on 6 January.  On 30 May 2010, Flores’ body was found in Van der Sloot’s hotel room in the Miraflores neighborhood of Lima.  Hotel employees witnessed Van der Sloot and Flores entering the room together and then 4 hours later Van der Sloot left the room alone.

On 3 June 2010 he was picked up by Chilean police as he tried to flee from Santiago.  Initially, he confessed to murdering Flores, but later retracted his statements

“The girl intruded into my private life. … We argued, and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck, and I hit her,” was Van der Sloot’s alleged statement to police. 

Police believe, from his statements at the time, that he killed Flores in a fit of anger as she used his laptop to find out about his role in the Natalee Holloway case.  Van der Sloot is widely believed to have murdered 18 year old Holloway.  She disappeared in 2005 from Aruba and he remains the lead suspect; however he has never been indicted due to a lack of evidence.

Peruvian prosecutors are going for a 30 year life sentence for the combined murder and robbery of Flores.  They are also seeking a restitution payment that would go to her family.  Originally, the death sentence was sought by the Flores family against Van der Sloot.

 

For more information, please see;

Radio Netherlands – Van der Sloot Sues Chile for 10m Dollars – 30 November 2011

NY Daily News – Joran Van der Sloot Sues Lima Murder Victim’s Dad, ex-Peruvian President – 29 November 2011

The Huffington Post – Joran Van der Sloot  Names Former President and Stephany Flores Father in $10 Million Lawsuit – 28 November 2011

Peru This Week – Van der Sloot Names Former President García in $10 Million Suit – 28 November 2011

The Santiago Times – Dutch Murder Suspect to Sue Chilean State – 28 November 2011