REPORT No. 176/20
CASE 13,256
REPORT ON ADMISSIBILITY AND MERITS
HUMBERTO CAJAHUANCA VÁSQUEZ
PERU
July 2, 2020
I. INTRODUCTION
1. On December 24, 1998, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American
Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition submitted by Humberto Cajahuanca
Vásquez (hereinafter “the petitioner” or “the alleged victim”) alleging that the Republic of Peru (hereinafter
“the Peruvian State,” “the State,” or “Peru”) was internationally responsible as a result of a disciplinary process
that concluded with his dismissal from his position as a magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Huánuco,
in addition to a criminal process brought against him that concluded with his acquittal.
2. On July 12, 2017, the Commission informed the parties that, pursuant to the instruments governing its
mandate, it would defer addressing the admissibility of the matter until discussion of and decision on the
merits. The Commission made itself available to the parties to begin a friendly settlement process, but the
conditions for doing so were not met. The parties were given the time provided for in the Rules of Procedure
to submit their comments on the case. All the information received was duly transferred between the parties.
II. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
Petitioner
3. The petitioner states that the alleged victim had been serving as a judge on the Superior Court of Justice of
Huánuco since October 13, 1992, and that on April 13, 1993, he took over as the president of that court. He
states that in October 1994, the president of the republic at that time, Alberto Fujimori, publicly called both the
president of the Superior Court of Justice of Huánuco and the rector of the Universidad de Huánuco “reformed
terrorists,” causing damage to his reputation. He states that nevertheless, the president said later that he had
been mistaken and was talking about a different judge.
4. He states that on June 18, 1995, the judge of the First Criminal Court of Huánuco requested leave for health
reasons, which was handled and approved by the Plenary Chamber on June 21, 1995; it was also decided that
the judgeship would be filled by the most remote duty judge. He states that this document was not signed at
the time by the members of the Plenary Chamber, but that based on this decision, on June 21, 1995, he
appointed Héctor Cordero Bernal—who at the time was the Fourth Specialized Criminal Judge—to take over
the First Criminal Court. He states that shortly afterward, this judge granted unconditional release to two
individuals who were being processed for drug trafficking crimes. He states that this outraged public opinion,
and therefore, the Judiciary Oversight Office of the Judicial Branch conducted a judicial visit.
5. He states that on October 18, 1995, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice and the president of the
Executive Council of the Judicial Branch concluded that the appointment of Judge Cordero Bernal was irregular,
as the official appointment document had not been signed by all the members of the Plenary Chamber and he
was not in line to serve as a substitute, as the most remote shift judge was on the Fifth Criminal Court.
Therefore, they asked the National Council of the Judiciary (hereinafter the “CNM”) to dismiss the alleged
victim.
6. He said the processes brought against him demonstrated an ongoing attempt to violate his rights to work,
to personal liberty, and to movement and residency. He states that the appointment of Judge Cordero Bernal
was a decision made by the Plenary Chamber, and that the criteria that the substitute be the most remote judge
does not exist in the law. He also alleges that “the failure of all the members of the Plenary Chamber to sign the
resolution cannot be considered a serious infraction.”
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