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Two jailed journalists on hunger strike to draw attention to their cases

(WiPC/IFEX) - At midnight (local time) on 26 September 2000, journalists Antero Gargurevich Oliva and Juan de Mata Jara Berrospi started an indefinite hunger strike in Miguel Castro Castro prison, Lima. In a letter to International PEN, Gargurevich explained that the two men had decided on their course of action "on account of the lack of political will shown by the present government to resolve our cases." He requested that PEN members might show solidarity with them by alerting the authorities to their respective cases.

Gargurevich was sentenced in 1994 to twelve years' imprisonment on charges of belonging to a support group responsible for formulating ideology for Sendero Luminoso. The verdict rested on documents about the guerrilla movement found at his home. The journalist and university professor has always claimed that the papers were part of his studies on violence in Peru. He is said to be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Jara Berrospi was, at the time of his arrest in 1993, director of "El Informador" magazine. He was given a twenty-year sentence for collaboration with Sendero Luminoso on the basis of some maps he possessed, showing the burial place of the victims of a massacre carried out by the Peruvian army. Jara Berrospi asserts that he was using the maps for a journalistic investigation. Both men were tried by so-called "faceless judges", notorious for their propensity to convict on the flimsiest of evidence.

International PEN considers that there are serious concerns about the fairness of the judicial process enacted against Gargurevich and Jara Berrospi. It calls upon the Peruvian authorities to release them and all others convicted by "faceless judges" pending reviews of their cases.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
- calling for the release of Gargurevich and Jara Berrospi and all those convicted by "faceless judges" ("jueces sin rostro") pending reviews of their cases
- urging the authorities to release all prisoners recommended for pardon by the Ad Hoc Commission
- expressing the hope that such injustices might not occur again

Appeals To


Señor Alberto Fujimori Fujimori
Presidente de la República
Palacio de Gobierno
Plaza de Armas s/n - Lima, Perú
Tel: +51 1 426 6770
Fax: +51 1 427 6722 / 426 6535

Dr. Alberto Bustamante Belaunde
Ministro de Justicia
Scipion Llona 350, Miraflores, Lima 18 - Perú
Fax: +51 1 422 3577
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Víctor Raúl Castillo Castillo
Presidente de la Corte Suprema
Palacio de Justicia, Paseo de la República s/n - Lima, Perú
Tel: +51 1 428 4457
Fax: +51 1 428 0803

Particularly in view of the unstable political situation in Peru, PEN also recommends that letters of protest be sent to the Peruvian embassies in your own countries. In Canada, send letters to:

Ambassador Jose E. Romero
Embassy of Peru
Ottawa, Ontario
Fax: +613 232 3062

Letters of solidarity for the two men can also be sent to Antero's wife:

Sra. Emma González Alarco
Av. Oscar Benavides 5044 - "D" Dpto 504
Callao, Perú

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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