U.N., U.S. and NGOs Promoted Forced Sterilizations in Peru

Parliamentarian Testifies Before Subcommittee

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LIMA, Peru, DEC. 2, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The United Nations, the Clinton administration, and Peruvian and Japanese nongovernmental organizations were responsible for thousands of forced sterilizations under the government of Alberto Fujimori.

Peruvian parliamentarian Hector Chávez Chuchón told a congressional subcommittee how the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and powerful NGOs financed the National Program for Family Planning.

This program included the Voluntary Surgical Contraception campaign, in which 300,000 women were sterilized, many of whom had not given their consent, the ACI press agency reported.

«The United Nations was aware of this policy; [U.N.] personnel worked in the health ministry,» Chávez said in response to a question from subcommittee president Luis Gonzales-Posada.

Chávez, who worked as a doctor in one of Peru’s poorest states during the Fujimori administration, was among the first to denounce the abuses of the National Program for Family Planning.

Chávez has dedicated his time in Parliament to investigating cases of forced sterilization and presiding over a working group which has collected evidence accusing Fujimori and former Health Ministers Marino Costa Bauer and Alejandro Aguinaga Recuenco of infractions «in the exercise of their office.»

These infractions, against fundamental human rights and the Peruvian Constitution, included violations of liberty, life, body and health, and conspiracy and «genocide,» Chávez said.

According to Chávez, the term genocide can be used, because it refers not only «to mass killing of human beings, but is also expressed in actions to impede the birth of human beings.»

The program of forced sterilizations was directed against poor and illiterate inhabitants of rural areas. Eighteen women subjected to forced sterilization during the campaign died.

Chávez said that doctors who took part in sterilizations said the Fujimori government fired those opposed to the surgical contraception program.

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