Peru: President of the National Jury of Elections threatened with death 3:33
(CNN Spanish) –– The Inter-American Court of Human Rights required the Peruvian State to adopt "immediately all measures that are necessary to effectively protect the life and personal integrity" of the president of Peru's highest electoral body, Jorge Luis Salas Arenas, and his family.
This resolution, dated September 4, stems from a request for provisional protection measures presented on July 18 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, both organs of the Organization of American States (OAS). That request argued that there is an "extreme, urgent and irreparable risk to the rights" of Salas Arenas, president of the National Jury of Elections.
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The Commission adds that, in the midst of high polarization, the electoral body and its president have been "questioned by certain sectors of society and political actors in the country," in the context of the 2021 presidential elections, where the "OAS Electoral Observation Mission once again regretted the aggressions against the electoral authorities, as well as the disinformation campaign." He also added that the independence of electoral authorities has been at risk.
The Court recalled that since 2021, when threats began to be made against the president of the electoral body, the Commission granted precautionary measures in favor of his protection. Although, according to the Court, the State implemented security actions within the framework of that decision, the Commission's new request for additional measures is based on the fact that "after the adoption of precautionary measures and in the framework of their follow-up, it did not perceive that the State's actions were sufficient to guarantee the life of Mr. Salas Arenas and his family."
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Salas Arenas has denounced threats against him, the latest being one he received last July from the extremist group Los Combatientes.
"(It's) the first time one of the menacing men has pulled his face out and loudly says what he says," he told CNN at the time.
The official also expressed concern about legislative proposals that seek to modify Peru's Political Constitution to include jury judges among the officials who can be impeached in Congress, which are still under analysis in parliamentary committees.
"How can I feel? Well, quite worried, obviously, quite worried. But in addition to the personal, worried about what can happen with democracy in Peru," he told CNN.
Salas Arenas had spoken out on this issue days before the death threat, in a conference with a foreign press, in which he said that the country's democracy was at "serious risk," because "a part of Congress has been attacking democratic institutions for some time."
CNN has asked the Presidency of the Republic and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for their opinion on the decision taken by the Inter-American Court.
In its resolution this month, the Court also requires the Peruvian State to inform the institution "no later than September 29, 2023, about the situation of Jorge Luis Salas Arenas and his family, in light of the measures it has adopted to comply with this decision."
Inter-American Court of Human Rights