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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Peru


Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Report
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Part 1

Peru is a multiparty republic. In June 2006 Alan Garcia of the Popular Revolutionary Party Alliance won the presidency in elections that were basically free and fair. The civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces. The following human rights problems were reported: abuse of detainees and inmates by police and prison security forces; harsh prison conditions; lengthy pretrial detention and inordinate trial delays; attacks on the media by local authorities; government corruption; violence and discrimination against women; sexual abuse and other violence against children; trafficking in persons; discrimination against indigenous people and minorities; failure to apply or enforce labor laws; and child labor in the informal sector. The terrorist organization Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) linked to narcotics trafficking was responsible for killings and other human rights abuses.

Part 2

The U.S. government fosters democracy and human rights in Peru by promoting economic transparency, decentralization, judicial reform, and strengthening political parties. The U.S. government encourages human rights by fighting child labor and child sexual exploitation and supporting programs for greater political participation by marginalized groups. The United States assists government efforts to reduce corruption and increase funding for health care and public education based on the country's qualification for the Millennium Challenge Account's Threshold Program in 2007.

To help increase economic transparency and fight corruption in the extractive industries sector, the U.S. government funds a program to bring together government officials, civil society, and private sector representatives to discuss the impact of proposed mining activities in select regions. In developing strategy priorities, U.S. officials consult with government institutions, NGOs, labor unions, and other organizations and work closely with these groups to encourage reforms and discuss problems related to human rights and democracy. The U.S. government uses diplomatic engagement, public outreach, foreign assistance programs, and related activities to advance strategy objectives. The U.S. government supports training in financial investigation techniques, including money laundering, as part of the implementation of the new judicial criminal codes.

Part 3

To promote political party participation and electoral reform, the U.S. government supports a program that consults with political parties, NGOs, and national and local government officials to review possible amendments to electoral laws. The U.S. government also funds a program to strengthen political parties through improved legal framework, greater outreach to marginalized communities and other constituents, and the creation of stronger, issue-based party platforms.

U.S. programs train approximately 100,000 persons in participation in government decision-making and support democratic decentralization efforts in more than 500 municipalities in the departments of San Martin, Ucayali, Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Ayacucho, and Cusco.

Part 4

The U.S. government plays an active role in promoting human rights through a variety of initiatives. The U.S. government sponsors outreach and public awareness programs, including International Visitor Leadership Programs, speakers, and public videoconferences with U.S. and Peruvian experts to promote greater public awareness about judicial reform, transparency, fighting corruption, and improving race and gender relations.

Unresolved problems arising out of the country's 1980-2000 internal armed conflict continue to undermine respect for human rights and the rule of law. Many victims of abuses committed during that period remain missing, and alleged perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity. The U.S. government supports two human rights programs, the first of which helps individuals and communities address the mental health needs of those affected by violence. The second program removes thousands of unfounded or erroneous arrest warrants, many more than 20 years old, against persons for terrorism.

Another U.S.-funded project conducts exhumations and uses forensic analysis to identify the remains of victims of past human rights abuses committed during the Fujimori administration and other periods of the internal armed conflict, with the goal of overcoming institutional obstacles to prosecution and combating impunity.

The U.S. government continues to promote efforts to eradicate child labor through working with at-risk and out-of-school children in Lima, Callao, Iquitos, and Cusco. The program reaches more than 3,000 at-risk children and provides out-of-school working children with social services and enrollment in non-formal and/or formal education. It increases capacity among regional and municipal government and civil society organizations to execute incentive programs for poor families to send their children to school.

To address the serious problem of trafficking in persons, the U.S. government continues funding programs that support local NGOs in their advocacy with the government to implement antitrafficking initiatives. These programs include developing a statistical database and police training to track trafficking cases and campaigns to promote new legislative reforms and greater public awareness about trafficking. To foster greater respect for worker rights, U.S. programs fund a project to train labor inspectors regarding enforcing worker rights, labor contracting, and occupational health and safety.



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