No Justice in Peru

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo has come under fire for backing the creation of what many perceive as a kangaroo court to "prosecute" military officials accused of human rights violations.

Toledo recently backed the creation of a judicial panel dominated by military appointees to replace what he calls a "discredited" civilian court system, which had been in charge of reviewing hundreds of cases against current and former military personnel accused of massacres, torture and murder.

Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal last year declared the military justice system unconstitutional and ordered Congress to write legislation bringing the military courts under civilian jurisdiction.

But lawmakers voted in December to create a Supreme Court judicial panel dominated by retired armed forces generals to decide which military abuse cases should be handled in civilian court and which should go to closed military tribunals.

Peruvian human rights groups recently detailed at least 46 cases last year of threats and intimidation targeting investigators and witnesses in these potential cases. They believe that these recent changes in the judicial system will continue the legacy of impunity which the Peruvian military carries.