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November 2009: Human Rights in Peru

Introduction to the Month's Focal PieceAnnotation of

Healing the Past, Protecting the Future. By Alejandro Toledo. Americas Quarterly. July 13, 2009.

~ The Editors

Cath CollinsThe Hidden Costs of Terror
by Cath Collins

“Torture, disappearance and rendition carried out in the name of a “war on terror” is now being exposed, repudiated and punished in the South. Will the North ever follow suit?”

Katherine HiteThe Peruvian Precedent
by Katherine Hite

"The trade-off between truth and justice has not born out, however, and today hundreds of Chilean military human rights cases have been legally processed, and many human rights violators are behind bars. The Guatemalan generals are certainly not out of the woods. Peru has also powerfully defied this logic, best illustrated by the conviction of former president Alberto Fujimori. Let the fitful, volatile but persistent truth and justice process of Peru serve as a powerful global precedent”"

Stephen JamesFrom Atrocities to Security: A Parable from Peru
by Stephen James

"As with many cases of human rights violations, the victims in Peru were dehumanized before they were abused (…) To combat dehumanization, societies must re-humanize the vulnerable and the persecuted, including the victims of human rights violations. Truth commissions have a vital role to play in this re-humanization: they give a forum to victims, validating their testimony and providing them with some catharsis, vindication, reparation and compensation.”

Henry KrischThe Limits of Executive Action for Human Rights
by Henry Krisch

“Since 2006, Toledo has found a useful perch in academic and NGO institutions in this country, such as working with the Carter Center on election monitoring. It would have been interesting to hear his views on how his outlook on these matters has been shaped by his American experiences— and how his Peruvian and Indio life may have lead him to see the weaknesses of the American approach to human rights."

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