Barrios Altos Case (Chumbipuma Aguirre v. Peru)

Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (Ser. C) No. 87 (2001)

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Barrios Altos Case (Chumbipuma Aguirre v. Peru)

Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (Ser. C) No. 87 (2001)

Facts

In 1991 six members of a Peruvian military death squad entered a home in the Barrios Altos neighborhood in Lima, Peru (defendant) and assassinated 15 people, including Placentina Marcela Chumbipuma Aguirre (plaintiff), and wounded four others during a neighborhood fundraising party to collect funds to repair the property. The military suspected that the home was a meeting place for sympathizers and members of the Shining Path, a terrorist organization. In 1995 the president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, put two amnesty laws into effect to impede criminal investigations into the summary executions of the victims and other cases of human-rights abuses perpetrated by police officers, army personnel, security forces, and even civilians, from 1980 to 1995. Because of the two amnesty laws, the various criminal proceedings were ended, including those related to the murders at the home during the party. There were no further efforts by the court system to investigate the perpetrators or to challenge the new laws. The National Human Rights Coordinator and various other groups submitted petitions on behalf of victims and survivors to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which submitted the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the court). In 2001 President Fujimori’s government fell. The new government admitted violations of the American Convention on Human Rights (the convention) regarding the killings and offered to enter into negotiations for a friendly settlement with the victims.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Concurrence (García-Ramírez, J.)

Concurrence (Cançado Trindade, J.)

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