Peru: State Dept- Section 3- Political Rights

Chris, London 100423.2040 at
Sun Apr 7 03:57:53 MDT 1996

[I attach Section 3 of the State Department's report on human rights
in Peru in 1995. Note that although it says the vote is mandatory
it does not say what proportion of the electorate acutally voted -
a key point in the PCP's claims about the degree of popularity of
the Fujimori regime.

There are only three more sections. Section 4 is also short and
I will probably post it this evening. I am giving this notice,
because although perhaps only a small proportion of the l'st have been
reading these reports, some may be waiting till the end before
making any comments. I assume no one on the l'st takes them to be
the perfectly objective value-free analysis they purport to be,
standing above and independent of the realities of imperialism.  CB]

 Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to
Change Their Government

 The Constitution provides for the right of citizens to make and amend
the laws and replace the officials that govern them, and citizens
exercise this right in practice.  The law bars only groups that advocate
violent overthrow of the Government from participating in the political
process.  Voting by secret ballot is mandatory for all citizens between
the ages of 18 and 70; however, prisoners and members of the armed
forces and the police are ineligible to vote.  Legal opposition parties
represent a wide variety of opinion and ideology.
 Running for a second term under provisions of the 1993 Constitution,
President Fujimori was reelected to a 5-year term on April 9 with 65
percent of the vote over 12 other candidates.  Voters also selected 120
members of the unicameral Congress.  Fujimori's Cambio 90/Nueva Mayoria
party won 67 seats in the new Congress.  Twelve opposition parties won
the remaining 53 seats.
 There was tampering with ballots just prior to the election in Huanuco
and several other provincial towns.  However, quick action by the
Organization of American States (OAS) election monitors and judicial and
electoral authorities prevented such tampering from affecting the vote.
The OAS election observer mission and a respected nonpartisan observer
group, Transparencia, concluded that the elections were fair.  Concerns
were raised, however, about the large number of congressional list
tabulation forms that were declared invalid because they were not filled
out properly by election workers.
 Women and minorities participate fully in government and politics.
There are 11 female members of Congress; President Fujimori's July
inauguration highlighted the swearing-in of the Congress's first female
president.  The Congress's three-person preparatory committee was
composed entirely of women for the first time in Peruvian history.  In
addition, 2 of the 14 Cabinet Ministers and several vice ministers are
women, as are the Attorney General and a Supreme Court Justice.
 Asians hold leadership positions in government; President Fujimori is
>from an Asian ethnic minority.  There are several indigenous
congressmen, and a recent vice president was a Quechua speaker.  There
are some indigenous prosecutors, and one of the presidential candidates
was a Quechua speaker from Ancash.  However, it is rare for indigenous
people, who represent 30 percent of the population, to reach the highest
leadership levels in either the public or private sectors.  Until
recently discrimination has often led to exclusion of members of these
groups from leadership positions in government and business.  Members of
the black minority have no leadership role in government, and there are
no black members of Congress.

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