Peruvian Women, Victims of Forced Sterilization

Photo: Chris Thamann

During the late 1990s about 300,000 Peruvian women underwent sterilization procedures without their fully informed consent. The Peruvian Ministry of Public Health and President Alberto Fujimori backed these practices as part of a government program to promote voluntary sterilization to reduce the national birthrate.

Many of the areas that were targeted with this voluntary program however, were poor rural areas. Investigations have found that under this sterilization program, many women and men were sterilized without their consent.

The victims of this program have taken their claims to Peruvian courts and several human rights organizations have joined them in their campaign. These cases however, remain unresolved and unrecognized by the Peruvian government.

The upcoming Peruvian presidential election also places added uncertainty to the fate of these investigations. Keiko Fujimori, Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, is in the running, and the victims feel that if she wins, their demands for justice will remain unheard.

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