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Viewing cable 07LIMA3659, NGO REPS SKEPTICAL OF GOP COMMITMENT TO REFORM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07LIMA3659 2007-11-19 16:04 2011-03-06 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lima
Appears in these articles:
elcomercio.pe
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DE RUEHPE #3659/01 3231641
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FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
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INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 1851
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RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1587
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1606
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUMIAAA/CDR USCINCSO MIAMI FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 003659 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2017 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EAID PE
SUBJECT: NGO REPS SKEPTICAL OF GOP COMMITMENT TO REFORM 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, for Reasons 1.4 (c...

id: 130701
date: 11/19/2007 16:41
refid: 07LIMA3659
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 
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DE RUEHPE #3659/01 3231641
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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 003659 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2017 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EAID PE
SUBJECT: NGO REPS SKEPTICAL OF GOP COMMITMENT TO REFORM 


Classified By: Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, for Reasons 1.4 (c,d) 

1.  (C) Summary: In a recent meeting with the Ambassador, 
representatives of Peru's top pro-democracy NGOs pointed to 
corruption as the fundamental challenge facing public 
institutions and raised doubts about the ruling APRA party's 
commitment to reform.  The NGO reps were sanguine about the 
likely political and public impact of former President 
Fujimori's imminent trial (ref), as long as the ruling APRA 
party stays out of the judicial process.  The NGO reps were 
skeptical that the government's reform plans will produce 
needed changes.  End Summary. 

2.  (SBU) Ambassador McKinley on November 5 met with 
representatives from the top rung of Peruvian human rights 
and pro-democracy NGOs: Cecilia Blondet, executive director 
of Proetica; Pablo Rojas, national coordinator for human 
rights; Hans Landolt, executive director of the Institute of 
Legal Defense (IDL); and Rodolfo Alban, area human rights 
coordinator for the Andean Commission of Jurists (CAJ). 

3.  (C) Blondet began by noting that corruption remains a 
grave problem in Peru and continues to undermine public 
confidence in institutions.  Blondet observed that polls show 
almost 90 percent of Peruvians believe that the police force 
is corrupt, and similarly high levels of mistrust exist for 
other public institutions.  She said most Peruvians expect 
little will change on this score during Garcia's remaining 
four years in office.  Her colleagues agreed, emphasizing 
that corruption is the central obstacle to Peru's reaching 
the next level of development. 

4.  (C) IDL's Hans Landolt suggested that even if reforming 
government were a more manageable challenge, APRA would be 
ill-equipped to take it on.  He explained that the APRA 
party's composition as a coalition of political operatives 
limited its interest in genuine reform and undermined its 
ability to articulate a positive vision of government.  For 
example, he claimed that the Garcia government -- APRA at its 
core -- had shelved a decent plan developed by former 
President Alejandro Toledo to strengthen human rights 
protections in Peru, not because it was a bad idea but 
because it came from a political rival.  That kind of 
short-sighted opportunism, Landolt said, is illustrative of a 
government that sways with public opinion and lacks the 
ideological ballast necessary to lead reform. 

5.  (C) Rojas, the head of a coalition of Peru's human rights 
NGOs, said he doubted Fujimori's trial would produce social 
unrest, noting that the Fujimoristas are internally divided 
and no longer as popular as they were before.  The 
prosecutors handling the case, moreover, are talented and 
honest and can rely on a "mountain" of evidence that 
virtually seals the process from the prospect of easy 
political manipulation.  That said, Rojas worried that the 
ruling party may seek to intervene: some APRA leaders, 
including Garcia, face accusations of human rights abuses and 
could use APRA's influence over the judiciary in order to 
shape the outcome of the trial and limit its impact on 
future, substantively related human rights cases.  Such 
political tampering in the process could produce widespread 
and potentially destabilizing protests, he said.  Rojas hoped 
the international community would play an active role in 
monitoring the trial to ensure the judicial process is 
perceived by Peruvians as fair and transparent. 

6.  (C) In response, the Ambassador noted that despite its 
slim electoral victory the government has articulated and 
begun implementing plans to improve public services, 
including administrative decentralization.  However, the 
scope of the government's challenge is enormous and the 
objective cannot be accomplished overnight.  Acknowledging 
the Ambassador's point, Landolt and others insisted that the 
government's reform efforts thus far are skin deep and 
unlikely to make a difference in solving the country's 
entrenched social problems. 

7. (C) Comment: In that sense, like the government's other 
critics, the pro-democracy NGO representatives remain 
skeptical that President Garcia is the kind of leader who 
will transform Peru into a robust and thriving democracy 
whose economic development does well by a clear majority of 
its people.  End Comment 
MCKINLEY 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================