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Peruvian Indigenous Women Victims of Sterilizations March for Justice

Lima, November 27 (teleSUR-RHC)-- About 80 women victims of forced sterilizations in Peru during the 1990s marched Thursday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  The protesters marched through the streets of Lima, the Peruvian capital.  

They were coming from the three provinces of Urubamba, Paucartambo and Anta.  According to the official estimate, over 270,000 women –- many of them indigenous and living in poor and rural areas —- were forcefully sterilized between 1996 and 2000.

President Ollanta Humala picked up the struggle for justice in these cases during his presidential bid, when he was running against Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former dictator Alberto Fujimori.  Many believed that such a move gave him the edge to win the election in the second round, although little has been done so far to bring justice to the victims.

On the president’s recent measure creating an official record of forced sterilizations, Lidia Pinares Soto of the Broad Movement of Women Foundation Line, argued that the government could have implemented the measure in the beginning of its term, instead of the end.

Fujimori has been imprisoned since 2007 over corruption and human rights abuses.  He has claimed that the women were voluntarily sterilized.

According to human rights groups and the testimonies they gathered, the program was implemented nationally but the methods were not systematic.  Sometimes, the signature of the victim’s relatives was used to go ahead with the process without consent. In other cases, the victims were operated on secretly after giving birth.  However, the government gave sterilization quotas and medical personnel were required to comply.

Human rights organizations have appealed a ruling issued in Jan. 2014 that found there was not enough evidence to maintain an investigation into Fujimori’s role in the sterilization campaign. In May 2015, Peruvian judicial authorities granted the request to reopen the case. 
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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