REPORT No. 66/10
CASE 12.444
MERITS
EDUARDO NICOLÁS CRUZ SÁNCHEZ, ET AL
PERU
March 31, 2011

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On February 3, 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a complaint lodged by Juan
Miguel Jugo Viera on behalf of the Association for Human Rights [Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos
(APRODEH), Edgar Cruz Acuña and Herma Luz Cueva Torres, alleging the responsibility of the State of
Peru (hereinafter “Peru,” or “the State,” or “the Peruvian State”). The petition claimed that the State is
internationally responsible for the detention and summary execution of Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez
and Herma Luz Meléndez Cueva (hereinafter “the alleged victims”), inasmuch as members of the
Peruvian Army had retaken control of the residence of the Ambassador of Japan in Peru on April 22,
1997, which had been held by members of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement [Movimiento
Revolucionary Túpac Amaru] (hereinafter “MRTA”) since December 17, 1996. On January 28, 2005, the
Executive Secretariat of the IACHR received the accreditation of the Center for Justice and International
Law (CEJIL) as co-petitioner (they and the initial petitioners shall be referred to hereinafter as “the
petitioners”).
2.
On February 27, 2004, the Commission approved Admissibility Report No. 13/04, in
which it concluded that it had competence to take up the complaint lodged by the petitioners and decided,
based on the arguments of fact and law and without prejudging the merits of the matter, to declare the
complaint admissible for the alleged violation of Articles 4, 8 and 25 of the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “American Convention”) in relation to Article 1(1) of that instrument.
3.
During the proceedings on the merits, the petitioners claimed that after having retaken
control of the residence of the Ambassador of Japan in Peru, members of the Peruvian Army summarily
executed Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez, Herma Luz Meléndez Cueva and Víctor Salomón Peceros
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Pedraza, while they were in a state of defenselessness. They also contended that members of the army
removed the bodies and prevented the entry of the Public Ministry; that rather than transfer the corpses to
the Institute of Forensic Medicine for an official autopsy, they took them to the National Police hospital
which was not equipped to conduct such a procedure; they blocked the entry of third parties as well as
the taking of photographs. They did not allow the next of kin to identify the bodies, which were buried in
secrecy in different cemeteries. The petitioners added that following a jurisdictional challenge, the matter
was taken up by the military justice system for the prosecution of the military personnel involved, which is
not the adequate jurisdiction to prosecute the violations committed. They also claimed that the civilian
jurisdiction responsible for trying “other agents” has not been effective. According to the petitioners, the
aforementioned facts give rise to State responsibility for the violation of Articles 4, 8 and 25 of the
American Convention, in relation to Article 1(1) of that instrument. They also alleged that the State is
responsible for the violation of the personal integrity of the victims’ next of kin.
4.
The State, for its part, claimed that the Chavín de Huántar operation was conducted in a
responsible manner and “prioritized the life of the hostages and the terrorists.” According to Peru, the
latter “knew from the start that an act of that nature carried with it the risks inherent to an illicit act.” In
relation to the competence of the military justice system, the State pointed out that the matter was tried in
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The IACHR determined in its Admissibility Report that the violations alleged in the case had also occurred with respect to
Mr. Peceros Pedraza and although “the latter was not named in the petition … [his] rights also appear to have been violated in these
same events and in the same way.” In the proceeding on the merits, therefore, the petitioners have referred to all three victims,
including Mr. Peceros Pedraza.

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