Open letter on the presidential vacancy declared by the Congress of the Republic of Peru

Open Letter
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Paris, 16 November 2020. We, the Organisation of American States of the FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights – the signatories to this pronouncement, in relation to the presidential vacancy declared by the Congress of the Republic of Peru, on 10 November of this year:

1. Resoundingly reject the presidential vacancy declared by the Congress of the Republic of Peru, instigated by political forces implicated by serious accusations of corruption and then of two previous attempts with the same objective, because we consider that this is a decision that not only does not accord with the rule of the Constitution but it also takes place in the middle of an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis, which gives rise to institutional instability with unpredictable consequences.

2. Condemn any act of repression and the excessive use of force by the Peruvian authorities against the civil population during the recent demonstrations, that have to date left 2 young people killed, more than 90 injured and around 9 demonstrators unaccounted for. We require that the facts be investigated and that the intellectual and material perpetrators be established and punished.

3. Call on the Peruvian authorities to guarantee democratic principles, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the whole population and, in particular, their right to express freely and peacefully their disapproval of what has happened in their country and not to restrict this right arbitrarily, and to refrain from using force illegally, excessively or arbitrarily.

4. We call on them to respect the democratic rule of law, the separation of powers and the autonomous and independent operation of justice. We consider that it is essential to prevent the commission of this attempt carried out by the Congress to implement the election of the judges of the Constitutional Court with a view to monopolising this body so as to ensure impunity for its decisions.

5. We call for compliance with and observance of the electoral timetable scheduled for April 2021, with all the guarantees offered to ensure transparency of this process.

6. We issue a call to the Organisation of American States - OAS – to repeat its rejection of the decision of the Peruvian Congress and to proceed immediately to apply the Democratic Charter.

7. We call on the governments of the region and the world to reject the decision of the Congress of Peru. We extend to the international community an invitation to state its rejection of this coup d’état and to ensure by all means possible the observance of the popular will of this country.

8. Finally, we repeat our call for the necessary decisions to be made to ensure that a constitutional and democratic way out of the institutional crisis caused by the declaration of the presidential vacancy is guaranteed. We consider it important to implement measures to tackle the health emergency and the fight against corruption and to ensure transparency of the 2021 electoral process.

Yours faithfully,
1. Association For Human Rights - APRODEH (Peru)
2. Centre for Public Policies and Human Rights - Peru EQUIDAD
3. CEDAL – Centre for Rights and Development (Peru)
4. José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective - CCAJAR (Colombia)
5. Inter-American Institute of Alternative Legal Services - ILSA (Colombia)
6. Ecumenical Human Rights Commission (CEDHU) (Ecuador)
7. Ecological Action (Ecuador)
8. Regional Foundation for Human Rights – INREDH (Ecuador)
9. Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH) (Nicaragua)
10. Committee of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) (Honduras)
11. Centre for Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights – CIPRODEH (Honduras)
12. National Commission for Human Rights - CNDH (Dominican Republic)
13. Human Rights Commission of El Salvador (CDHES) (El Salvador)
14. Centre for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH) (Guatemala)
15. Global Justice (Brazil)
16. National Human Rights Movement - (MNDH Brazil)
17. Mexican Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights - CMDPDH (Mexico)
18. IDHEAS- Strategic Human Rights Litigation AC (Mexico)
20. Legal Action Committee (CAJ) (Argentina)
21. CELS – Centre for Legal and Social Studies (Argentina)
22. Citizenship Observatory (Chile)
23. Venezuelan Program for Education – Action in Human Rights – PROVEA (Venezuela)

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