Association in Peru

The freedom of association is constitutionally guaranteed. However, funding of CSOs has been increasingly subjected to controls by the Peruvian Agency for International Cooperation, and violence against human rights defenders – especially anti-mining activists – is commonplace. Criminalisation of environmental human rights activists and community leaders takes various forms including intimidation, threats, physical attacks, illegal surveillance, stigmatisation and smear campaigns, arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment. Typically used as retaliation for protest actions and therefore based on unfounded criminal charges, court proceedings are eventually dropped or end in acquittal. For example, defender Milton Sanchez Cubas has been subjected to 50 different court proceedings and never been convicted. Women human rights defenders suffer additional risks, such as sexual violence, and mining workers trying to create independent trade unions are also specifically targeted.