There are no opportunities for working directly with either the Judiciary or the Public
Ministry at the present time. However, there is an opportunity to support the important labor of the
Defensoria del Pueblo
(Ombusdman), a semi autonomous state institution that responds to citizen
concerns about abuse of power in all branches of government, including the Executive and the Judiciary.
Outside of government, private human rights organizations can also serve to check official abuses of
power and challenge judicial complicity.
In this area, the team recommends
that USAID continue to work with both the
Defensoria del Pueblo and leading human rights organizations two efforts that have been judged very
successful in evaluations and that still hold tremendous potential to make a meaningful difference
Defensoria del Pueblo
has demonstrated its ability to mobilize public opinion and serve as a check
against executive abuse of power. However, it is important to bear in mind that the term of the present
Defensor expires in April 2001, and he must either be reelected or replaced by the new Congress. If a
competent Defensor is again approved, and if other respected professionals in the institution are
maintained after 2001, it should continue to be one of most important investments that USAID can make
to promote democracy.
Peru's human rights community is also a critical partner in oversight of the Judiciary and executive
branch, drawing national and international attention to situations in which the Judicial branch fails to do
its job as a check and balance to the Executive. The strength of Peruvian human rights organizations is
notable within the hemisphere, and USAID is fortunate to have such a capable and strong set of
institutions to support. The
Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos
Instituto de Defensa
, and the
Comision Andina de Juristas
are among the most likely partners in this area.
and the human rights community can do much to draw attention to Executive
abuses of power, and to potentially prevent such abuse. Furthermore, in light of the recent OAS reform
proposals, each can play an important role in monitoring government response to short term
recommendations (such as the elimination of the Executive Commissions), and encouraging dialogue and
broad domestic consensus on the need for reform.
Human rights organizations are important allies of the
, and in the near term USAID should
work with them to prepare for carrying on when the present Defensor's term expires. International and
local pressure should be exerted to assure that a competent person is named to the position. However, if
the Defensoria is significantly weakened or politicized, then USAID would need to compensate by
increasing assistance to human rights organizations to fill the void.
Sustained pressure on the Judiciary, the Executive, and other branches of government to make
decisions based on the framework of the Constitution rather than political pressures. International
pressure maintained to prevent future abuses of power and violations of human rights, and promote
compliance with OAS recommendations. Effective monitoring of initial government actions in response
to OAS proposals.
Political will for judicial reform might increase over the next year or two, depending on
government sensitivity to OAS concerns and the extent of national and international pressure in this area.
If the Executive Commissions were eliminated, and the constitutional authority of the National Judicial
Council and the Judicial Academy were restored, this might justify moving into some direct capacity
development activities. In such a situation, the World Bank and other multilateral organizations might be
expected to take the lead on funding more costly technical support efforts, but USAID has played an
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