Peruvian Health Minister Asks Forgiveness for Sterilizations

Carried Out During Fujimori Administration

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ROME, JULY 26, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A Peruvian official publicly requested forgiveness for the forced sterilizations carried out by the Fujimori government.



Health Minister Fernando Carbone Campoverde published a report on the sterilizations and he publicly asked Peruvians for their forgiveness for the campaign of "attacks against life."

The ministerial study reveals only 10% of more than 314,000 people subjected to the program of "voluntary surgical contraception" did so voluntarily. Under the program, launched in 1993, the people were urged to submit for the "well-being" of the family.

The program was directed primarily to rural workers and poor Indians.

Former President Alberto Fujimori is living in self-imposed exile in Japan. Peru has sought his extradition on charges of crimes against humanity, embezzlement and torture. But Tokyo has repeatedly refused, citing that Japanese nationals cannot be extradited under Japanese law, the Associated Press reports. Fujimori was recognized as a Japanese national in December 2000 after fleeing Peru, a nation of about 27 million.

The Peru report on the forced sterilizations tells the story of a woman identified only as Julia.

Julia recalls that a team of doctors arrived in her village promising everyone health and well-being. After several days, a census was taken of the villagers, both men and women, to sterilize them. Whoever refused, was threatened and forced to submit.