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  HOME | Peru

EU: Death Penalty, Rejection of International Rulings by Peru Would Harm Trade Deal

LIMA Ė Potential actions by Peru such as instituting the death penalty or failing to abide by the decision of an international tribunal would adversely affect the application of its free-trade agreement with the European Union, a member of the European Parliament said on Friday.

In an interview with EFE in Lima, German MEP Bernd Lange said that even though both of those possibilities had made their way into Peruís political and media discourse they were still far from being a reality.

Lange, who is leading a delegation of the EPís Committee on International Trade that has visited Colombia and Peru this week to assess the five-year-old EU-Colombia/Peru Trade Agreement, said those issues were merely in the discussion stage at the moment.

But he insisted that one of the European Unionís principles was a total rejection of the death penalty.

ďTherefore in our trade relations we have clear priorities. And (in the case of) countries which have death penalty we have some problems. Iím not sure that this will become a reality here in Peru,Ē Lange added.

Lange, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, also said that a refusal to adhere to the decisions of tribunals such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) would also be unacceptable.

In that regard he referred to the case of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 in connection with the military death squad killings of 25 people during his 1990-2000 governmentís campaign against Shining Path guerrillas.

Current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned Fujimori, now 79 and in ill health, on humanitarian grounds in late December 2017.

Family members of victims of human rights abuses during Fujimoriís administration, however, have asked the Costa Rica-based IACHR to annul the pardon, saying it was part of a quid pro quo that enabled Kuczynski to avoid impeachment on corruption allegations.

ďItís really the democratic exercise of the (Peruvian) parliament how to deal with the Fujimori case, and certainly we stick really to the rule of law, and if we are member of an international organization we should accept the judgment. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. But to stabilize the international system, you should really accept the rule of law,Ē Lange said.

Lange furthermore said that for the EU trade is not an end in itself and must be based on values and benefit ordinary people and promote excellence in terms of labor rights and environmental standards.

In that regard, he said there was a notable lack of presence of unions and representatives of Peruvian civil society in the independent organizations that Europe wants to take on the task of assessing the implementation of the free-trade agreement with the EU.

He said European trade officials had addressed this issue with Peru, adding that non-governmental organizations and environmental groups must be able to provide their input independently and that the process must not be dominated by the government.

The EU noted this week that it is one of the three biggest markets for Peruís goods and services and the leading foreign investor in the Andean nation.

The 28-nation blocís foreign direct investment in Peru rose 15 percent between 2013 and 2015 to roughly $12 billion.

Bilateral trade, meanwhile, amounted to approximately $10 billion in 2016, according to the European Commissionís Third Annual Report on the Implementation of the EU-Colombia/Peru Trade Agreement.


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