Russia kicks out USAID for “meddling in Russian politics”

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

USAID allegedly helps monitor elections in remote areas of Russia.

The Agency for International Development (USAID) will stop work in Russia as a result of a government ban on the American organization due to what the Russian government says it is the continuous meddling of USAID in its political scenario. The move will impact Russian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which depend on USAID’s funds to carry out their programs.

USAID has until Oct. 1 to close its offices in Russia, where it’s been working since 1992, spending some $ 2,600 million. Projects funded by USAID range, according to the organization, from combating tuberculosis and AIDS to educating children with disabilities as well as  monitoring and controlling of elections in a large geographical area.

“The nature of work of the agency representatives in Russia in many cases did not meet the stated goals of development and humanitarian bilateral cooperation”, said on Wednesday Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich. Lukashevich accused USAID of “attempting to influence by allocating grants in the political process, including elections at different levels and institutions of civil society.” The “activity” of the agency in “various Russian regions, especially in the North Caucasus, raised serious questions” about which “we warned repeatedly our American colleagues,” he said.

USAID works in numerous administrative units of the Russian Caucasus, from Chechnya to Ingushetia through Karachai-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Krasnodar and Stavropol. In these provinces there are projects related to electoral monitoring by Golos. The director of this NGO, Lilya Shibanova, called the decision a”bad sign” and a “heavy blow” to her organization. She said the immediate step to kick USAID out puts at risk the monitoring plan for the regional elections that will be held on October 14 in various Russian provinces.

Russia is now part of the countries that hold the “new donor” status, while rejecting the “recipient” label. This change turns the country away from receiving aid from all international organizations,” said Lukashevich. “The Russian civil society has grown and does not need” external aid, “said the spokesman for the foreign ministry, who spoke about the possibility of cooperating with the U.S. in third countries. With the expulsion of USAID, Russia makes it even clearer that the Kremlin leadership is aiming at restricting the activities of the opposition, which intensified with the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency.

In November, a new law will become effective which will require that a person registers as a “foreign agent” when working for an NGO whose political activities receive international funding. However, the Russian Ministry of Justice has had to seek help from academic experts to develop criteria on political activities that require participants to identify themselves as “foreign agents”.

From the perspective of the Kremlin, the U.S. and the West are trying to destabilize Russia and encourage protests against their leaders. However, this is not the only reason why the Russian government kicked out USAID. Some media outlets are now reporting on this move as a sign of the problematic relations between the U.S. and Russia. The measure also may be linked to “pride” from the part of the Russian government. The move to cut ties with American, or in general foreign organizations is not new in Russia. The government sought to end this kind of relationships and to change the way the country cooperates with foreign organizations, especially those of Western origin.

Another NGO that will be affected given the Russian decision to send USAID home, is “Memorial”, an organization that occupies its time and funds to maintain the historical memory of Stalinism. “It’s unfortunate,” said Yelena Zhemkova, a member of Memorial’s board. “We may have to reduce some of our programs and find money elsewhere, but we will move forward,” she said. “Those who really suffer are the programs to combat tuberculosis or helping handicapped,” he said. Projects funded by USAID at “Memorial” are “a ramp to enable disabled persons to travel on our premises and access the library.

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Rwanda: The Pentagon’s African Holocaust

Spanish High Court investigates genocide committed by US-backed dictatorship.

By  Gearóid  Ó Colmáin
Global Research
December 15, 2011

On November 29th investigative journalist and genocide expert Keith Harmon Snow testified before Spain’s Highest Court (Audencia Nacional) to support the indictments against 40 Rwandan officials for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during the western-backed invasions of Rwanda and Congo/Zaire by Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).

In 2005, the relatives of 9 Spanish nationals killed in Rwanda and the Congo in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2000, filed a lawsuit against the government of Rwanda resulting in the issuing of Interpol international arrest warrants for 40 Rwandan officials of Kagame’s régime.

On 6 February 2008, the Spanish Investigative Judge Andreu Merelles issued an indictment charging 40 current or former high-ranking Rwandan military officials with serious crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism, perpetrated over a period of 12 years, from 1990 to 2002, against the civilian population, and primarily against members of the Hutu ethnic group.

While the investigations were initially based on complaints from families of nine Spaniards who were killed, harmed or disappeared during the period at issue, the indictment was subsequently expanded to include crimes committed against Rwandan and Congolese victims, based on the universal jurisdiction doctrine. The indictment rules out the prosecution of Paul Kagame, arguing that he may not be prosecuted as long as he holds the position of President of Rwanda.

According to Spanish lawyer Jordi Palou Loverdos:

“Spain’s Audencia Nacional was only met by silence when it duly and formally asked the U.N. to hand over the evidence of these crimes perpetrated against people in 1996 and 1997 or the evidence of the pillaging of valuable mineral resources conducted in these same years or earlier. The international media which had access to the UN report have made public the fact that the UN High Commissioner responsible for the report  keeps- separately from the latter- a confidential  data bank containing evidence that implicates individual Rwandan and Ugandan military officials.”[1]

In spite of threats and intimidation from agents linked to Western governments and from the United Nations, the Spanish High Court authorities are continuing to hear evidence against the Ugandan and Rwandan proxy forces of the United States in Africa.

Keith Harmon Snow has been researching the real facts of the tragedy known to the world as the “Rwandan genocide” (put in quotes?) since 1994, and has, along with many other experts, evidence to prove that the United States, Britain and Israel were responsible for the training, financing and covert military and logistic support of Kagame and Museveni’s forces.

On 6 April 1994, the UPDF/RPA proxy forces assassinated the Rwandan and Burundian presidents (Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira), their military chiefs of staff, and the French pilots of the plane they were flying on, thus provoking and participating in the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Hutus and Tutsis in one of the most violent civil wars in modern history.

Snow also presented detailed evidence of the war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Kagame and Museveni’s proxy forces, after they invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1996, again backed by the Pentagon, Israel and NATO allies. The Congo/Zaire invasion was commanded by generals Paul Kagame and James Kabarebe, and they involved an officer attached to Kabarebe named Hyppolite Kanambe — alias Joseph Kabila, the strongman in Congo today.

The ongoing Rwandan occupation and plunder of eastern Congo has resulted in the deaths of some ten million people, making this the worst war since the Second World War. The Central African holocaust has been largely ignored by the global mass media corporations who are calling for “humanitarian intervention” in Syria, much as they did to justify invading Libya, by the same countries responsible for supporting mass carnage in Africa.

In spite of orders from Laurent Désire Kabila (Congo’s interim president of 1998-2001), to disengage from the Congo, the RPA and UPDF re-invaded the Congo in 1998, resulting in the Second Congolese War. Although the war is said to have ended in 2001, mass killing of the populations in the mineral rich Kivu provinces of Eastern Congo under the leadership of these US-backed dictators has continued to this day.

Contrary to its stated “peacekeeping” mission, the United Nations Observers Mission for the Congo (MONUC) and its follow on dependent, Monusco, has been deployed in the Congo since 2000 and has been involved in sexual violence and contraband activities. MONUC has provided cover for the Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundi forces, USAID, the Pentagon’s new Africa Command (AFRICOM), and scores of Western mining corporations who are plundering the Eastern Congo.

Snow gave detailed testimony to the Audencia Nacional of the American, British, Belgian, German, Israeli and Australian mining corporations who have profited from the Pentagon’s holocaust in the Congo.  Many of these companies such as Banro Corporation, Barrick Gold and companies run by the Blattner dynasty.

Snow alleges that these corporations have direct links to the criminal networks run by Paul Kagame, who are plundering the Kivu provinces of the Eastern Congo and massacring the Hutu Rwandan refugees there.

Though the majority of victims have been from the populations of Rwandan Hutus, Rwandan Tutsis and Twa have also been targeted, both in Congo and Rwanda, and many Congolese ethnic groups have been targeted in the Congo. The Kagame regime is determined to eliminate all possible opposition to its rule and to occupy and annex eastern Congo to create a “Republic of the Volcanoes” controlled by Rwanda and populated with sattelite US military bases.

Snow told the Spanish court that details collected by the UN Panel of Experts report of 2001 to 2010, detailing the illegal occupation, plunder and war crimes in the Congo, have been watered down by special interest groups linked to Western governments, thus shielding Western corporations and governments from scrutiny by the International Criminal Court and the Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda.

Trained in the notorious Fort Levenworth, Kansas (USA) and advised by former British prime minister Tony Blair, Paul Kagame is without question one of the most evil dictators in modern history. The scale and intensity of his atrocities dwarf those of Pinochet, Suharto and Somoza combined.

Rwanda and the Congo belong to the ninth circle of global capitalism’s Dantesque inferno . It is the circle of betrayal; betrayal of the high ideals of the United Nations to uphold the rule of law and work towards the goal of international peace and stability; betrayal of the trust that ordinary citizens of the world have in media corporations to tell them what is really happening in the world, so that leaders and potentates can be held to account.

In spite of expertise gained on the ground throughout Central Africa spanning 20 years,  expert testimony to the US House of Representatives in 2001, extensive work as genocide consultant to the United Nations and numerous meticulously documented reports, Keith Harmon Snow’s work continues to be ignored by the corporate media and many outlets who claim to be ‘progressive’ and ‘independent’ .

According to  Snow,

“U.S.-based groups fronted by the intelligence and defense establishment and pretending to be ‘grass roots non-government organizations’ — such as the ENOUGH project, Raise Hope for Congo, Resolve, STAND and Save Darfur — have co-opted the grass roots movement and are whitewashing the issues and controlling the media, academic and public spaces to prevent the true grass roots voices for Central Africa from being heard and to prevent the deeper issues from being understood.” [2]

In preparation for a documentary film to be released next year on the African holocaust, Keith Harmon Snow has just completed a series of interviews with distinguished scholars, investigative journalists and lawyers from France, Spain, Germany, Camaroun and Rwanda. The film, as yet untitled, is expected to be aired in film festivals throughout the world and will also be available online for mass viewing.

Rwanda and the Congo belong to the ninth circle of global capitalism’s Dantesque inferno . It is the circle of betrayal; betrayal of the high ideals of the United Nations to uphold the rule of law and work towards the goal of international peace and stability; betrayal of the trust ordinary citizens of the world have in media corporations to tell them what is really happening in the world, so that leaders and potentates can be held to account.

Uncovering the truth about the role of Western imperialism in the violence that has beset Central Africa since the fall of the USSR to the present day, is of vital importance, as the obscene and racist myth of an African genocide America “failed to prevent” constitutes the mendacious and  insane basis for the Orwellian “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Western governments and their pro-Kagame lobbies in the mainstream media are prompt to smear as ‘genocide deniers’ those who challenge the lies and distortions of the official genocide narrative of the current Rwandan régime by exposing the inconvenient and politically incorrect facts. In the case of Rwanda and the Congo, it should now be abundantly clear who those genocide-deniers are.

Esterilização Forçada: O Segredo Mais Escuro do Peru

Uma investigação sobre se o governo de Alberto Fujimori realizou esterilizações forçadas em massa na década de 1990 foi reaberto. Estas atrocidades foram apoiadas pelas Nações Unidas e a USAID.

Tradução Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda
12 dezembro 2011

O rosto da Victoria Vigo não mostra nenhuma emoção quando ele narra como descobriu – por acaso – que tinha sido cirurgicamente esterilizada contra sua vontade. Em estágios avançados da gravidez, foi internada em um hospital público na cidade de Piura na costa norte do Peru, em abril de 1996 para submeter-se a uma cesariana. Poucas horas após o procedimento, seu filho recém-nascido morreu e a Sra. Vigo, 32 anos de idade na época, estava sendo consolada por dois médicos.

“Eu estava exausta e só queria ir para casa”, diz a Sra. Vigo. “Os médicos estavam tentando confortá-la e disseram que eu era ainda muito jovem e poderia ter mais filhos. Mas então, depois que eu ouvi que eles estavam conversando e um disse que não seria possível para mim ter mais filhos, porque ele tinha me esterilizado. ”

O fato é que a Sra. Vigo não tinha dado permissão para ser cirurgicamente esterilizada. O médico havia omitido o detalhe de sua história médica e ela não foi informada. “Eu me senti completamente violada e brutalmente. Ainda não posso entender o que o motivou “, diz a Sra. Vigo. “Me esterilizou e, em seguida, escondeu as provas. Eu poderia ter tentado durante anos para ter outro filho sem saber ou imaginar. ”

Duplamente traumatizada, a Sra. Vigo foi para casa, sem enfrentar o médico. Mas, eventualmente, processou ele em 2003, e ganhou uma compensação de aproximadamente 2.000 libras. Durante o julgamento, o médico disse que ele tinha seguido as instruções e a prática de esterilização de pacientes – com ou sem seu conhecimento ou consentimento – era comum entre os profissionais de saúde pública no Peru.

O argumento pode agora finalmente ser provado em tribunal, depois que o Procurador Geral do Peru reabriu no mês passado uma investigação sobre a esterilização forçada que teriam acontecido durante os governos de Alberto Fujimori, presidente entre 1990 a 2000. Fujimori está cumprindo uma sentença de 25 anos de prisão por peculato, e por dirigir esquadrões da morte durante a repressão contra o Sendero Luminoso.

A pesquisa será estudará todo sobre a questão da esterilização forçada enquanto se concentra no caso de Mamérita Mestanza, 33 anos, mãe de sete filhos quem somente fala Quechua e mora na região andina de Cajamarca. Ela morreu em 1998 devido a complicações da cirurgia de esterilização que as autoridades de saúde a obrigaram a aceitar.

Segundo grupos de direitos humanos, pode ter sido cerca de 300.000 vítimas, a maioria mulheres, na sua maioria pobres e indígenas, muitas vezes com um conhecimento do espanhol limitado. “Eles eram os mais fracos e mais vulneráveis”, diz a Sra. Vigo, cujo caso ainda é o único que chegou aos tribunais, no Peru.

Segundo o Centro de Nova York para os Direitos Reprodutivos, o Peru de Fujimori é um dos dois lugares onde a esterilização forçada foi adotada como política de Estado desde o Terceiro Reich.

O caso havia sido arquivado em 2009 depois de ser considerado que muito tempo tinha passado e que existiam limitações estabelecidos pelo sistema legal do Peru para rever os casos. No entanto, os promotores reclassificaram as esterilizações como crimes contra a humanidade, ou seja, sem limite de tempo para que os responsáveis sejam levados à justiça.

Esta decisão pode pavimentar o caminho para um processo e julgamento de alto perfil contra Fujimori e seus três ministros da saúde Eduardo Yong Motta, Alejandro Aguinaga e Costa Marino Bauer.

Embora tenham reconhecido que houve problemas em casos individuais, os quatro negaram que tivessem ordenando as esterilizações forçadas. Silvia Romero, uma advogado que representa a Associação de Mulheres Afetadas pela Esterilização Forçada, que tem cerca de 2.000 membros, principalmente na região de Cusco, responde: “Esta foi uma política de Estado que veio dos mais altos escalões do poder” .

Mas a Sra. Vigo também quer que os médicos que fizeram a sua esterilização sejam julgados. Ela acredita que as recentes declaracões feitas pela Associação Médica do Peru, que seus membros foram pressionados a fazer esterilizações, mesmo com a ameaça de perder o emprego, são demasiado pouco, demasiado tarde. “Eles tinham uma escolha”, diz ela. “Se mais médicos tivessem falado contra na época, a esterilização nunca teria acontecido.”

Fujimori ofereceu pela primeira vez a política de esterilizaçoes gratuitas para homens e mulheres em 1995 como uma maneira de lidar com a pobreza endêmica do Peru e do crescimento populacional. No começo, ele recebeu uma recepção calorosa, inclusive das Nações Unidas, que forneceu apoio financeiro. Igualmente, a Agência dos Estados Unidos para Ajuda Internacional, USAID, doou US $ 35 milhões (£ 22 milhões).

Mas a palavra se espalhou rapidamente que os médicos estavam sob pressão para cumprir os objetivos de esterilização, e que os pacientes que estavam sendo enganados ou intimidados para realizar o procedimento. Grupos de direitos humanos tem mostrado relatórios sobre casos suspeitos de pessoal médico e membros das forças armadas, que foram obrigados a passar por esterilizações simplesmente para permitir que clínicas compensaram os números. Como o escândalo se multiplicou fora de controle no governo de Fujimori, a Comissão de Direitos Humanos interveio e supervisionou um acordo em 2001 entre o Estado peruano e a família da Sra. Mestanza, incluindo o pagamento de uma indemnização de 100.000 dólares. A Comissão também instruiu as autoridades peruanas para levar os perpetradores à justiça e reparar os danos causados a todas as vítimas – uma ação que ainda não foi cumprida.

Esterilizações são ainda muito controversas e sem dúvida o tema influenciou o resultado na eleição presidencial de junho em que a filha de Alberto Fujimori, Keiko, perdeu a sua popularidade depois que muitos detalhes sobre as esterilizações foram revelados ao público. Ela pediu desculpas às vítimas, enquanto culpou um grupo de médicos “maus” pelos procedimentos.

De acordo com a Sra. Romero, as esterilizações continuam sendo “os crimes mais esquecidos dos governos de Fujimori.” Isto é em parte devido à magnitude da prática. Mas também devido ao fato de que, ao contrário de abusos dos direitos humanos realizados por ordem de Fujimori na luta contra o Sendero Luminoso, as esterilizações nunca foram consideradas seriamente pela Comissão de Verdade e Reconciliação do Peru.

Tudo isso deixa a Sra. Vigo perguntando-se por que ela? Em muitos aspectos, foi uma vítima atípica. Qualificada como professora, trabalhou como administradora na empresa de construção de sua família, tornando-a um alvo improvável para uma prática que visa reduzir a pobreza.

Agora acredita ter sido escolhida para o procedimento como resultado do infortúnio, na confluência do fato de que ela já tinha dois filhos e a pressão sobre os médicos no hospital para cumprir as cotas, “Eu não era uma candidata para esterilização “, diz ela. “Eu não encaixava no perfil.

“Claro que mudou minha vida. Eu tenho a sorte de ter dois filhos, mas eu queria mais, incluindo uma segunda ou terceira criança com o meu marido [o seu primeiro filho é de uma relação anterior]. O instinto da maternidade é tão poderoso. Quando isso é tirado de você leva o seu único propósito na vida, sua razão de ser. ”

Sobre o Fujimori, ela diz: “eu votei nele duas vezes. Como presidente, ele fez muitas coisas boas. Eu olhei para ele como uma filha olha para um pai. O que ele fez para mim foi o pior tipo de abuso de confiança. ”

Sendero Luminoso Pede Anistia

Sendero Luminoso foi derrotado militarmente e seus poucos membros restantes estariam dispostos a desarmar, um dos líderes do grupo terrorista, admitiu pela primeira vez.

De seu esconderijo na floresta no leste dos Andes, o camarada Artemio, disse que o grupo queria uma anistia para sair do esconderijo. Mas o presidente Ollanta Humala prometeu acabar com Sendero Luminoso. A maioria dos peruanos estão fartos com suas numerosas atrocidades, incluindo explodir corpos das vítimas na frente de suas famílias.

No final de 1990 e início de 1980, inspirado por um estilo de ideologia do Khmer Vermelho, o grupo levou o Peru a uma guerra civil que custou 70.000 vidas. Mas eles caíram em uma espiral descendente desde que o fundador e líder Abimael Guzmán foi capturado em 1992.

Os poucos soldados restantes continuam a patrulhar as áreas montanhosas remotas, às vezes até derrubam helicópteros, mas agora parecem mais interessados em tráfico de cocaína do que na revolução.

Artigo original publicado por Simeão Tegel no The Independent.

Esterilización Forzada: El Secreto Más Oscuro del Perú

Una investigación sobre si el gobierno de Alberto Fujimori llevó a cabo esterilizaciones forzadas en masa en la década de 1990 se ha reabierto. Estas atrocidades contaron con el apoyo de las Naciones Unidas y la USAID.

Traducción Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda
11 de diciembre 2011

Victoria Vigo no muestra ningún atisbo de emoción mientras relata cómo descubrió – por casualidad – que había sido quirúrgicamente esterilizada contra su voluntad. En avanzado estado de gestación, fue internada en un hospital público de la ciudad de Piura, en la costa norte de Perú, en abril de 1996 para someterse a una cesárea. Pocas horas después del procedimiento, su hijo recién nacido había muerto y la Sra. Vigo, de 32 años en ese momento, estaba siendo consolada por dos médicos.

“Yo estaba agotada y sólo quería ir a casa”, dice la Sra. Vigo. “Los médicos estaban tratando de consolarla y una me dijo que yo era aún muy joven y podía tener más hijos. Pero entonces, después, oí que hablaban y el otro dijo que no sería posible que yo tuviera más hijos porque él me había esterilizado “.

El caso es que la señora Vigo no había dado permiso para ser esterilizada quirúrgicamente. El doctor había omitido en su historia clínica y no se le informó. “Me sentí completamente violada y brutalmente. Todavía no puedo entender lo que lo motivó “, dice la Sra. Vigo. “Me esterilizó y luego escondió la evidencia. Yo podría haber intentado durante años tener otro hijo sin saberlo ni nunca imaginarlo. ”

Doblemente traumatizada, la Sra. Vigo fue a su casa sin enfrentar el médico. Pero finalmente lo demandó y, en 2003, ganó una indemnización de aproximadamente 2.000 libras. Durante el juicio, la Sra. Vigo, dice, el médico dijo que había seguido las instrucciones y que la práctica de esterilización de los pacientes – con o sin su conocimiento o consentimiento – era habitual entre los profesionales de la salud pública del Perú.

La alegación ahora puede finalmente ser probada en los tribunales, después que la Fiscalía General de Perú reabrió el mes pasado una investigación sobre las supuestas esterilizaciones forzadas durante el gobierno de Alberto Fujimori, presidente de 1990 a 2000, que se encuentra actualmente cumpliendo una condena de 25 años de cárcel por malversación de fondos y por dirigir escuadrones de la muerte durante la represión contra el maoísta Sendero Luminoso.

La investigación se verá todo el tema de las esterilizaciones forzadas mientras se centra en el caso de Mamérita Mestanza, de 33 años de edad, de habla quechua y madre de siete, de la región andina de Cajamarca. Ella murió en 1998 debido a complicaciones de una cirugía de esterilización que las autoridades sanitarias supuestamente la obligaron a aceptar.

Según grupos de derechos humanos, puede haber habido cerca de 300.000 víctimas, mayoritariamente mujeres, la mayoría de ellos pobres e indígenas, a menudo, quechua-hablantes con un español limitado. “Ellos fueron los más débiles y más vulnerables,” dice la Sra. Vigo, cuyo caso sigue siendo el único que ha llegado a los tribunales en el Perú.

De acuerdo con la sede en Nueva York del Centro de Derechos Reproductivos, el Perú de Fujimori es uno de los dos casos de esterilizaciones forzadas que se adoptó como política de Estado desde el Tercer Reich.

El caso había sido archivado en 2009 después de que se considera que ha transcurrido mucho tiempo bajo el estatuto de limitaciones. Sin embargo, los fiscales han reclasificado las esterilizaciones como un crimen contra la humanidad, es decir, no hay límite de tiempo para que los responsables sean llevados ante la justicia.

Eso podría allanar el camino para un juicio de alto perfil contra Fujimori y sus tres ministros de salud Eduardo Yong Motta, Alejandro Aguinaga y Marino Costa Bauer.

A pesar de que han reconocido que había problemas en casos individuales, los cuatro han negado ordenar las esterilizaciones forzadas. Silvia Romero, una abogada que representa a la Asociación de Mujeres Afectadas por las esterilizaciones forzadas, que cuenta con unos 2.000 miembros, principalmente de la región Cusco, replica: “Esta fue una política de Estado que provenía de las más altas esferas del poder”.

Pero la Sra. Vigo también quiere ver a los médicos que llevaron a cabo las esterilizaciones en el banquillo. Ella cree que las recientes acusaciones hechas por la Asociación Médica del Perú, de que sus miembros fueron presionados a llevar a cabo las esterilizaciones, incluso con la amenaza de perder sus puestos de trabajo, es demasiado poco, demasiado tarde. “Ellos tenían una opción”, dice. “Si más de los médicos se hubieran pronunciado en ese momento, la esterilización nunca hubiera tenido lugar.”

Fujimori presentó por primera vez la política de ofrecer esterilizaciones gratis para hombres y mujeres en 1995 como una manera de hacer frente a la pobreza endémica del Perú y el aumento de la población. En un principio recibió una calurosa acogida, incluidas las de las Naciones Unidas, que proporcionó apoyo financiero. La Agencia de los Estados Unidos de Ayuda Internacional, USAID, donó 35 millones de dólares (£ 22m).

Pero la palabra se extendió rápidamente que los médicos estaban siendo presionados para cumplir los objetivos de esterilización, y pacientes que estaban siendo engañados o intimidados para someterse al procedimiento. Grupos de derechos humanos, incluso informaran sobre presuntos casos de personal médico y miembros de las fuerzas armadas a quienes se les ordenó someterse a esterilizaciones simplemente para permitir que las clínicas compensaran los números. A medida que el escándalo se multiplicó fuera del control en el gobierno de Fujimori, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos intervino y supervisó un acuerdo en 2001 entre el Estado peruano y la familia de la Sra. Mestanza, incluyendo un pago de una indemnización de 100.000 dólares. La Comisión también dio instrucciones a las autoridades peruanas para llevar a los perpetradores a la justicia y a reparar los daños hechos a todas las víctimas – una sentencia que aún no se ha cumplido.

Las esterilizaciones siguen siendo muy controvertidas y sin duda influenciaron el resultado en las elecciones presidenciales de junio en la cual la hija de Alberto Fujimori, Keiko perdió su popularidad después de que muchos detalles sobre las esterilizaciones fueron reveladas al público. Ella había pedido disculpas a las víctimas, mientras que culpó a un grupo de médicos “malos” por los procedimientos.

Según la Sra. Romero, las esterilizaciones siguen siendo “el crimen más olvidado del gobierno de Fujimori”. Eso es en parte debido a la magnitud de la presunta práctica. Pero también se debe al hecho de que, a diferencia de los abusos de los derechos humanos llevadas a cabo por orden de Fujimori en la lucha contra Sendero Luminoso, las esterilizaciones nunca fueron consideradas por la Comissión de la Verdad y la Reconciliación del Perú.
Todo lo cual deja a la Sra. Vigo preguntando: ¿por qué ella? En muchos sentidos, fue una víctima atípica. Calificada como maestra, trabajó como administradora en el negocio de construcción de su familia, haciendo de ella un blanco improbable para una práctica destinada a reducir la pobreza.

Ahora cree que fue elegida para el procedimiento como consecuencia de un infortunio al azar, la confluencia del hecho de que ella ya tenía dos hijos y la presión sobre los médicos en el hospital para cumplir con las cuotas: “Yo no era una candidata para la esterilización”, , dice. “Yo no encajaba en el perfil.

“Por supuesto que ha cambiado mi vida. Tengo la suerte de haber tenido dos hijos, pero yo quería más, incluyendo un segundo y tercer hijo, posiblemente, con mi marido [su primer hijo con una pareja anterior]. El instinto de ser madre es tan poderoso. Cuando esto es arrebatado de usted le quita su único propósito en la vida, su razón de ser. ”

De Fujimori, dice: “Yo voté por él dos veces. Como Presidente, él hizo muchas cosas buenas. Alcé la vista hacia él, como una hija a un padre. Lo que él hizo para mí era el peor tipo de abuso de confianza “.

Terroristas de Sendero Luminoso abogan por una amnistía

Sendero Luminoso ha sido derrotado militarmente y sus pocos miembros restantes estarían dispuestos a deponer las armas, uno de los líderes del grupo terrorista ha admitido por primera vez.

Desde su escondite en la selva, en las estribaciones orientales de los Andes, el camarada Artemio, dijo que el grupo quería una amnistía para salir de su escondite. Pero el presidente Ollanta Humala ha prometido acabar con Sendero Luminoso. La mayoría de los peruanos están hartos de sus numerosas atrocidades, incluyendo dinamitar cadáveres de las víctimas frente a las familias.

A finales de 1980 y principios de 1990, inspirados en un estilo de la ideología Khmer Rouge, el grupo llevó a Perú a una guerra civil que cobró 70.000 vidas. Pero ellos han estado en una espiral descendente desde que el fundador y líder, Abimael Guzmán fue capturado en 1992.

Los pocos soldados que quedan siguen patrullando las zonas remotas de montaña, a veces incluso derribando helicópteros, pero ahora parecen más interesados en tráfico de cocaína que en la revolución.

Artículo original publicado por Simeon Tegel en el diário The Independent.

Forced Sterilization: Peru’s Darkest Secret

An investigation into whether Alberto Fujimori’s government carried out mass forced sterilisations in the 1990s has been reopened.

by Simeon Tegel
The Independent
December 8, 2011

Victoria Vigo shows no flicker of emotion as she recounts how she discovered – by chance – that she had been surgically sterilised against her will. Heavily pregnant, she was admitted to a public hospital in the city of Piura, on Peru’s northern coast, in April 1996 to undergo a Caesarian section. Within hours of the procedure, her ailing new-born child had died and Ms Vigo, 32 at the time, was being consoled by two doctors.

“I was exhausted and just wanted to go home,” Ms Vigo says. “The doctors were trying to comfort me and one told me I was still very young and could have more children. But then, afterwards, I overheard them talking and the other said that it would not be possible for me to conceive as he had sterilised me.”

Not only had Ms Vigo never given her permission for the procedure. The doctor had omitted it from her clinical records and failed to inform her. “I felt totally violated and brutalised. I still cannot understand what motivated him,” Ms Vigo says. “He sterilised me and then hid the evidence. I could have tried for years to have another child without even knowing I could never conceive.”

Doubly traumatised, Ms Vigo went home without confronting the doctor. But she eventually sued him and, in 2003, won damages of approximately £2,000. During the trial, Ms Vigo says, the doctor claimed that he had been following instructions and that the practice of sterilising patients – with or without their knowledge or consent – was standard among Peru’s public healthcare providers.

That allegation may now finally be tested in court, after Peru’s Attorney General last month reopened an investigation into the alleged forced sterilisations during the government of Alberto Fujimori, President from 1990 to 2000, who is currently serving a 25-year prison term for embezzlement and directing death squads during the crackdown against the Maoist Shining Path.

The investigation will look at the entire issue of forced sterilisations while focusing on one sample case, of Mamerita Mestanza, a 33-year-old, Quechua-speaking mother-of-seven, from the Andean region of Cajamarca. She died in 1998 from complications from sterilisation surgery that health officials allegedly harassed her into accepting.

According to human rights groups, there may have been as many as 300,000 victims, overwhelmingly women, the majority of them poor and often indigenous, Quechua-speakers with limited Spanish. “They were the weakest and most vulnerable,” says Ms Vigo, whose case remains the only one to have reached the courts in Peru.

According to the New York-based Centre for Reproductive Rights, Fujimori’s Peru is one of only two instances of forced sterilisations being adopted as state policy since the Third Reich.

The case had previously been shelved in 2009 after it was deemed to have lapsed under the statute of limitations. However, prosecutors have now reclassified the sterilisations as a crime against humanity, meaning there is no time limit for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

That could pave the way for high-profile trials of Fujimori and his three health ministers Eduardo Yong Motta, Alejandro Aguinaga and Marino Costa Bauer.

Although they have conceded there were problems in individual cases, all four have denied ordering forced sterilisations. Silvia Romero, a lawyer representing the Association of Women Affected by Forced Sterilisations, which has approximately 2,000 members, mainly from the Cusco region, retorts: “This was a state policy that came from the highest spheres of power.”

But Ms Vigo also wants to see the doctors who carried out the sterilisations in the dock. She believes recent allegations by Peru’s medical association, that its members were pressured into carrying out sterilisations, including with the threat of losing their jobs, is too little, too late. “They had a choice,” she says. “If more of the doctors had spoken out at the time, the sterilisations might never have taken place.”

Fujimori first unveiled the policy of providing free sterilisations for men and women in 1995 as a way of tackling Peru’s entrenched poverty and rising population. It initially received a warm reception, including from the United Nations, which provided financial support. The United States’ international aid agency, USAid, donated $35m (£22m).

But word quickly spread about doctors being pressured to meet sterilisation targets, and patients being tricked or bullied into undergoing the procedure. Human rights groups even reported alleged cases of medical personnel and members of the armed forces being ordered to undergo sterilisations simply to allow clinics to make up the numbers. As the scandal mushroomed out of the Fujimori administration’s control, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stepped in and oversaw a settlement in 2001 between the Peruvian state and the family of Ms Mestanza, including a compensation payment of $100,000. The Commission also instructed Peruvian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and provide reparations to all the victims – a ruling yet to be fulfilled.

The sterilisations remain highly controversial and arguably swung the result in June’s presidential elections away from Mr Fujimori’s 36-year-old daughter, Keiko. She had apologised to the victims while insisting the procedures were the work of individual “bad” doctors.

According to Ms Romero, the sterilisations remain “the most forgotten crime of the Fujimori government”. That is partly because of the sheer scale of the alleged practice. But it is also down to the fact that, unlike the human rights abuses carried out on Fujimori’s orders in the fight against the Shining Path, the sterilisations were never considered by Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

All of which leaves Ms Vigo wondering: why her? In many ways, she was an atypical victim. Qualified as a teacher, she worked as the administrator of her family’s construction business, making her an unlikely target for a practice aimed at reducing poverty.

She now believes she was chosen for the procedure as a result of random misfortune, the confluence of the fact that she already had two children and the pressure on the doctors at the hospital to meet quotas: “I was not a candidate for sterilisation,” she says. “I did not fit the profile.

“Of course it has changed my life. I am lucky to have already had two children but I wanted more, including a second and possibly third child with my husband [her first child was with an earlier partner]. The instinct to be a mother is so powerful. Having that snatched away from you takes away your whole purpose in life, your reason for being.”

Of Fujimori, she says: “I voted for him twice. As President, he did many good things. I looked up to him, like a daughter to a father. What he did to me was the worst kind of abuse of trust.”

Shining Path terrorists plead for an amnesty

The Shining Path has been militarily defeated and its few remaining members would be willing to lay down their arms, one of the terrorist group’s leaders has admitted for the first time.

From his jungle hideout in the eastern Andean foothills, Comrade Artemio said the group wanted an amnesty to come out of hiding. But President Ollanta Humala has promised to wipe out the Shining Path, and most Peruvians were sickened by their numerous atrocities, including dynamiting victims’ corpses in front of families.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, inspired by a Khmer Rouge-style ideology, the group plunged Peru into a civil war that claimed 70,000 lives. But they have been on a downward spiral since founding leader Abimael Guzman was captured in 1992.

The few left still attack soldiers patrolling remote mountain areas, occasionally even downing helicopters, but now seem more interested in cocaine-trafficking than revolution.