Peruvian judicial authorities have ordered the reopening and expansion of a criminal probe into the mass forced sterilization of an estimated 350,000 women and 25,000 men during the 1990s.
A Peruvian public prosecutor reopened an investigation on Thursday into former President Alberto Fujimori’s possible role in the forced sterilization of thousands of Peru’s indigenous people during the ‘90s.
Luis Antonio Landa Burgos, the state prosecutor leading the case, said he will extend his investigation to include new witnesses and that it must be completed within three months.
Focusing mostly on indigenous and poor people in rural areas, the sterilization program was led by President Fujimori’s government, who was in power between 1990 and 2000. Fujimori himself has been serving a 25-year jail term since 2007 for human rights abuses and corruption.
Most of the victims were deceived, threatened or operated on without them even knowing, according to the rights group. The reported methods used by the authorities were not systematic. In some cases a signature of a relative was used to go ahead with an operation, in other cases victims were operated on secretly after giving birth.