Sterilization victims organize campaign of justice in Peru

CCTV News

Sterilization victims organize campaign of justice in Peru

More than 300,000 Peruvian women and men were sterilized when Alberto Fujimori was president in the 1990s, according to health ministry figures. The government said the procedures were voluntary.

Thousands of those on the receiving end maintain they were forced. Now they’ve organized a campaign for justice.

CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reports.

Sterilization victims organize campaign of justice in Peru

Sterilization victims organize campaign of justice in Peru

More than 300,000 Peruvian women and men were sterilized when Alberto Fujimori was president in the 1990s, according to health ministry figures. The government said the procedures were voluntary. CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reports.

In Peru’s capital Lima, thousands march against presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori. Their name references the number of registered victims which from a massive campaign of alleged forced sterilization in the 1990s.

Fujimori, who served as her father’s first lady during the late 1990s, has blamed medical staff for the sterilizations. However, there is testimony from an official investigation that the orders came directly from the health ministry.

Most of the women were poor, many illiterate and lived in Peru’s Andes mountains.

Now, the victims are for the first time and being registered, giving them the right to state compensation.

Julio Arbizu, the lawyer representing the victims says it’s a human rights crime.

“This is an atrocious crime against a specific group of women and men based on the idea that it would combat poverty but in fact it combated the poor,” he said.

A criminal case could be re-opened against jailed former president Fujimori and his health ministers for the 2,074 cases.