Case Studies

Truth-seeking and SSR in Peru


In 2001, after 20 years marked first by armed confrontation and then by dictatorship, Peru experienced a peaceful democratic transition when the regime headed by Alberto Fujimori fell under accusations of corruption.

The Peruvian Congress installed a provisional government, which was committed to fundamental human rights standards that had been ignored by the former government. Some of the critical measures implemented were the creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC); a return to the jurisdiction of the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACHR); the annulment of amnesty laws for human rights abuses committed by members of the security forces; the revision of anti-terrorist laws that violated due process guarantees for persons belonging to illegal armed groups; the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; and the initiation of extradition proceedings against former dictator Fujimori, who sought asylum in Japan.

The TRC worked for two years in open proceedings and produced a comprehensive report including extensive information on 47 cases against members of the security forces; the report was forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Entry point

The provisional government acted with a sense of urgency on all these fronts to overcome Peru’s international isolation resulting from its failure to meet basic human rights standards. The new  government was supported by a broad civil society platform established by the national human rights organisations.

Lessons learned

Importance of addressing past crimes — After the demise of the dictatorship, the high-ranking military officers, members of the business community and media representatives allied with Alberto Fujimori were exposed as members of corruption networks. Many were arrested and others fled the country. Pro-democracy representatives, in particular the TRC, took positions of responsibility in  the military and media, and supported enactment of new human rights policies.

Role of international human rights institutions — At the time of Fujimori’s fall, Peru had lost several critical cases before the IACHR, and a signifi cant number of cases were pending with little prospect of success for the state. The new government sought a friendly settlement with the court and quickly implemented a number of critical measures — including the cancellation of amnesty laws and the reform of anti-terrorism laws — and initiated retrials for imprisoned members of illegal
armed groups.

Civil society engagement — Key civil society leaders took positions in government and established effective alliances between the state and civil society to channel expertise, conduct joint assessments, and mobilise social support.


The TRC had a decisive effect on the national political agenda of Peru. A comprehensive reparations programme for victims of human rights abuses was put in place and numerous civil society groups adopted the TRC’s final report as a guide for action. Several criminal cases were opened against members of the security forces, but resistance against the “democratic spring” by authoritarian elements weakened the resolve of the judiciary and slowed these proceedings. To date no member of the military has been tried and Alberto Fujimori remains in Chile awaiting the result of extradition proceedings.

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Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

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Policy and Research Papers

Mécanismes conventionnels de justice transitionnelle et enjeux entourant l’inclusion des femmes : réflexions depuis le cas péruvien

Cet article examine le cas du Pérou concernant l’inclusion des survivantes de violences sexuelles et reproductives commises par les forces armées au sein des mécanismes de justice transitionnelle.

Pour accéder à l'étude, Mécanismes conventionnels de justice transitionnelle et enjeux entourant l’inclusion des femmes : réflexions depuis le cas péruvien, veuillez suivre le lien. 


Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems

IDLO has produced a practitioner brief which is part of its series on "Navigating Complex Pathways to Justice: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems” to advance policy dialogue and distil lessons from programming and research but also to help strengthen customary and informal justice systems as an integral part of providing access to justice for all. This Practitioner Brief offers a set of concrete tools, recommendations and good practices to support engagement with customary and informal justice systems.

For full access to the practitioner brief, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, kindly follow the link. 

You can also have access to their policy and issue brief on the same topic, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, by kindly following the link.



Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice

In Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice, fourteen leading researchers study seventy countries that have suffered from autocratic rule, genocide, and protracted internal conflict.