Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
In April 2009, former president Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for severe human rights violations committed during his authoritarian rule. A trend toward increasing social conflict continued during the year, as illustrated by a June incident in which at least 23 police officers and 10 protesters were killed following a months-long standoff over land rights.
In June 2009, the government mounted an operation to break up a highway roadblock established by the protesters, resulting in violence at two sites that left 10 protesters and 23 police officers dead, with one other policeman missing. Over 200 people, mainly protesters, were injured, including more than 80 with gunshot wounds. Within two weeks the disputed decrees were rescinded, and the government acknowledged its failure to consult with locals, but it maintained its claim—eventually discredited—that outside agitators were responsible for raising tensions. At year’s end, multiple investigations into the deaths were ongoing. A commission appointed to produce an official report on the incident was unable to reach a consensus; a version backed by only four of the seven members blamed nonindigenous groups for radicalizing the protests and faulted the government merely for communication failures rather than what domestic and international rights groups described as a fundamentally misguided and inhumane strategy.
Peru is an electoral democracy. Elections in 2006 were generally free and fair, according to international observers. Complaints focused on poor logistics and information distribution in rural areas, as well as the disenfranchisement of the roughly one million Peruvians who lacked identification documents.
In recent years, women have advanced into leadership roles in various companies and government agencies. Although legal protections have improved, domestic violence is epidemic, with over half of Peruvian women reporting instances of physical or emotional abuse. Forced labor, including child labor, persists in the gold-mining region of the Amazon.