THE campaigning organisation, Amnesty International, this week called on candidates in Peru's forthcoming presidential elections to place human rights at the forefront of their manifestos.
Amnesty claims that there have been more than 6,000 "disappearances" and illegal executions since 1983. And torture, including rape, is commonly inflicted on peasants in isolated districts by members of the armed forces, the organisation says.
Presidential candidates should commit themselves to restoring the rights of detainees enshrined in Peru's constitution before voting takes place on April 8, Amnesty says. It must also be made plain to those violating the human rights of others that they will not receive the immunity from prosecution afforded them until now.
Amnesty condemns the killings carried out by armed opposition groups, but says that such atrocities are not a valid excuse for arbitrary acts of violent retaliation on the part of the security forces.
In December last year two military personnel were imprisoned following the deaths of 124 prisoners during riots at Lurigancho prison. But, Amnesty reports, similar charges against a further 76 soldiers and police were dismissed.