Perú: Demand Investigation In Rape Case

SUMMARY

On February 25, 2008, three members of the National Police allegedly raped 26 year-old Luís Alberto Rojas Marín at the Casa Grande District National Peruvian Police Station, which is based in Ascope County in the La Libertad Region of Peru. On April 11, 2008, Judge Rosendo Villas Castillo, an Ascope County magistrate, ordered the three police officers accused of the crime to be detained in custody—the first time that authorities in Peru have arrested people because of hate crimes or human rights abuses related to sexual orientation. However, after family and friends of the police officers organized marches to support the officers, magistrates from the La Libertad Regional Judicial Court freed them, effectively nullifying the original detention order.

Among the rights violated in this case are:

  • The right to life and security of the person
  • The right to equal protection before the law
  • The right to effective remedy and compensation
  • The right to judicial protection

ACTION

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) joins La Libertad GLTB Association from Peru in requesting that you write letters to the Peruvian authorities, asking for a fair and throughout investigation of Luis Alberto Rojas Martin’s rape case, ensuring that those responsible for the crime are duly identified, tried and punished and that the victim gets an effective remedy and fair compensation.

Feel free to cut and paste our letter in Spanish (enclosed) as a sample and contact the individuals listed below. Please send your letters to:

Justice and DDHH Peruvian Parliament Commission President
Mr. Raúl Eduardo Castro Stagnaro
rcastro@congreso.gob.pe
Ombudsman
Dra. Beatriz Merino Lucero
Jirón Ucayali Nº 388, Lima Nº 01, Cercado
Apartado Postal Nº 4403, Lima 1, Lima – Perú.
Peruvian Ombudsman
defensor@defensoria.gob.pe
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Peru
Señor Luís Alva Castro
Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n.
Urb. Corpac, San Isidro, Lima Nº 27
Perú.
ministro@mininter.gob.pe
Ombudsman
Dr. William Raphael León Huertas
La Libertad Regional Ombudsman
wleonh@defensoria.gob.pe
Ministry
Dra. Gladys Margot Echaíz Ramos
National Attorney
gechaiz@mpfn.gob.pe
Human Rights National Council - Ministry of Justice
Dr. Miguel Facundo Chingel
Executive Secretary
mfacundo@minjus.gob

Please also send a copy of your letter to:

Fernando D’Elio - IGLHRC
fdelio@iglhrc.org
Victor Omar Vázquez – La Libertad GLTB Association
asociacion_glbti_lalibertad@hotmail.com

SAMPLE LETTER

Presidente de la Comisión de Justicia y DDHH del Congreso del Perú
Raúl Eduardo Castro Stagnaro

Escribimos para manifestar nuestra preocupación e indignación por los reportes recibidos acerca de que tres oficiales de la policía violaron recientemente a un hombre a quien ellos percibieron como gay, y de hecho, ejercieron tal violación por su orientación sexual. La violación reportada tuvo lugar en la estación de policía del distrito de Casa Grande de la provincia de Ascope en la Region de La Libertad, Perú.

El 11 de abril de 2008 el magistrado de la provincia de Ascope ordeno la detención de los tres oficiales acusados del crimen –fue la primera vez que las autoridades de Perú arrestan a personas por violaciones a los Derechos Humanos relacionadas con orientación sexual, una acción que debería ser aplaudida.

No obstante después que familiares y amigos de los oficiales organizaran marchas de apoyo, autoridades de la Corte Judicial de La Libertad, pusieron en libertad a los oficiales. Esta acción, motivada políticamente, anuló la orden original del magistrado de Ascope, menoscabando la ley y reduciendo la confianza de la comunidad en la obligación del estado Peruano de considerar seriamente los crímenes cometidos contra miembros de la comunidad lésbica, gay, bisexual y transgénero (LGBT) .

Como firmante de declaraciones y tratados internacionales que aseguran el derecho a la vida, a la igualdad ante la ley, a la no discriminación, es la obligación de Perú asegurar que las violaciones a los Derechos Humanos, incluidas las violaciones y otros tipos de violencia sexual sean completamente investigadas y que sus perpetradores sean enviados a la justicia. Esto es requerido en todos los casos sin distinción por orientación sexual o identidad de genero.

Asimismo, los principios de Yogyakarta sobre la Aplicación del Derecho Internacional Humanitario en Relación con la Orientación Sexual y la Identidad de Género especifica que “todas las personas tienen derecho al disfrute de todos los derechos humanos, sin discriminación por motivos de orientación sexual o identidad de género” y que los estados “adoptarán todas las medidas legislativas y de otra índole que resulten apropiadas para prohibir y eliminar la discriminación por motivos de orientación sexual e identidad de género en las esferas pública y privada” (Principio 2)

Les solicitamos que se condene públicamente la violación de Luis Alberto Rojas Marín, dejando claro que crímenes cometidos por razones de orientación sexual o identidad de genero no serán tolerados en la sociedad peruana. Asimismo le pedimos que se aseguren que las autoridades efectúen una investigación exhaustiva y justa del crimen y si los oficiales de policía acusados resultaran culpables sean castigados de acuerdo a la ley. Requerimos también que se efectúe un monitoreo del trato de la policía a la comunidad LGBT, que se capacite a la fuerza policial para terminar con la homofobia dentro de la institución y tomar todas las medidas necesarias para evitar que crímenes similares contra la comunidad LGBT se cometan en el futuro.

Las autoridades peruanas deben respetar y proteger los Derechos Humanos de todos los ciudadanos sin distinción de su orientación sexual o identidad de genero.

Confiamos que le darán a este tema la atención que se merece.

Cordialmente,

Paula Ettelbrick
Paula Ettelbrick
Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Justice and DDHH Peruvian Parliament Commission President
Mr. Raúl Eduardo Castro Stagnaro

I write on behalf of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) to express our concern and outrage over reports that three police officers recently raped a man whom they believed was gay, and, in fact, they targeted him for such violence because of his sexual orientation. The reported rape took place at the Casa Grande District National Police Station of Ascope County, in the La Libertad Region of Peru.

On April 11, 2008, Judge Rosendo Villas Castillo, an Ascope County magistrate, ordered the three police officers accused of the crime to be detained in custody—the first time that authorities in Peru have arrested people because of a human rights violation related to sexual orientation, an action which should be applauded.

However, after family and friends of the police officers organized marches to support the officers, magistrates from the La Libertad Regional Judicial Court freed them. This politically motivated action has nullified the original detention order by the magistrate in Ascope County, undermined the law, and diminished public confidence in the Peruvian state’s willingness to take seriously crimes that are committed against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

As a signatory to international declarations and treaties which assure the right to life, the right to equality before the law, and the right to non-discrimination, it is Peru’s obligation to ensure that human rights violations, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, are fully investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice. This is required in all cases, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Moreover, the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity specify that, “Everyone is entitled to enjoy all human rights without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” and that states should, “adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to prohibit and eliminate discrimination in the public and private spheres on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” (Principle 2).

We ask that you publicly condemn the rape of Luís Alberto Rojas Marín, making it clear that crimes committed on account of peoples’ sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated in Peruvian society. We also ask that you ensure that authorities make a full and fair investigation into the crime; if the three police officers accused of the rape are found guilty, then they should be punished to the full extent of the law. We also ask that you closely monitor the way in which police officers throughout Peru treat LGBT people, provide additional training to diminish homophobia among the police force, and do everything possible to ensure that similar crimes against the LGBT community are not repeated in the future.

Peruvian authorities should respect and protect the human rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We trust that you will give this issue the attention it deserves.

Sincerely,

Paula Ettelbrick
Paula Ettelbrick
Executive Director
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

CC: Dr. William Raphael León Huertas, Dra. Gladys Margot Echaíz Ramos, Dr. Miguel Facundo Chingel, Dra. Beatriz Merino Lucero, Señor Luís Alva Castro

BACKGROUND

On February 25, 2008, at, at the Casa Grande District National Peruvian Police Station, which is based in Ascope County in the La Libertad Region of Peru, 26 year-old Luís Alberto Rojas Marín became the victim of several crimes. At the police station, three police officers—Dino Horacio Ponce Pardo, Luís Miguel Quispe Cáceres and Juan Isaac León Mostacero—reportedly took his money and belongings, and later undressed and raped him, forcing him to submit to a variety of different sexual practices. Mr Rojas Marín was left naked the whole night. At 6 in the morning the police officers returned his clothes and finally set him free. The victim maintains he was abused because of his sexual orientation.

On April 11, 2008, Judge Rosendo Villas Castillo, an Ascope County magistrate, ordered the three police officers to be detained in jail. This is the first time that Peruvian authorities have ever ordered the arrests of police officers for committing hate crimes or human rights abuses related to sexual orientation.

However, despite the judge’s orders, the National Police has not suspended the accused officers; instead it has granted them legal advice from police attorneys. Moreover, Territorial Police Director, General Raúl Becerra has not assumed any responsibility for the crime, despite the fact that it took place inside a police station.

Furthermore, relatives of the accused police officers have tried to manipulate the judicial process. On April 12, 2008, they organized a march in the city of Trujillo, the capital of the La Libertad region. Around fifty sympathetic relatives of the police officers participated in the demonstration. They blamed the victim, Luís Alberto Rojas, for the rape, trying to discredit him because he openly expresses his sexual orientation.

Shortly thereafter, a La Libertad regional judicial court freed the three accused policemen, effectively nullifying the detention order issued by the Ascope County magistrate.

To see a TV intervew with Luis Alberto Rojas Marin, please follow this link:
http://boletindiversidad.blogspot.com/2008/05/video-televisivo-del-joven-gay-violado.html

INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL LAW

The right to life (and to liberty and security of the person) is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Article 3, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), in Articles 6 and 9, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (IACHR) in Articles 4 and 7.

The right to equality before the law and the right to non-discrimination are protected by the Declaration in Articles 2 and 7, the Covenant in Articles 2 and 26, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, in Articles 1 and 24.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee affirmed in Toonen v Australia (1994) that existing protections against discrimination in Articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should be understood to include sexual orientation as a protected status. The UN Committee on Economic and Social Rights has made a similar observation in its General Comment 14 on the right to health. Numerous other United Nations human rights mechanisms have condemned discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Peru ratified IICPR on April 18, 1978 and IACHR on July 28, 1978

The UDHR is considered part of customary international law, and binding on all member States of the United Nations, including Perú, The Interamerican Human Rights Convention binds all OAS members.

In 2002, Peru ratified the Andean Charter to Promote and Protect Human Rights (Carta Andina de Promoción y Protección de los Derechos Humanos). Article 10 of this Charter reaffirms the decision of Andean states to combat all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and any other form of intolerance or exclusion against individuals or communities on account of race, color, sex, age, language, religion, political beliefs, nationality, sexual orientation, immigration status or any other condition; it also reaffirms their commitment to promote national legislation to criminalize racial discrimination.

Section F of the Charter is devoted specifically to the rights of people whose sexual orientation differs from that of the majority. Article 52 recognizes that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or preference, are entitled to the same human rights. In Article 53, signatory states commit themselves to combating all forms of discrimination against individuals on account of their sexual orientation or preference, in accordance with national legislation. Hence they commit themselves to paying special attention to the prevention and punishment of violence and discrimination against those whose sexual orientation or preference differs from that of the majority, as well as to providing legal resources for effective remedy in instances of damage caused by such offenses.

Law 28.237 passed by the Peruvian Parliament, instituted a new constitutional protection for the LGBT population. It prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, recognizes sexual minorities as a protected group, and allows individuals to submit appeals and complaints in cases of discrimination. Law 28.237 has been in force since December 1, 2004.