Espinoza Gonzáles v. Peru (2014)

The case involved the rape and torture of Gladys Carol Espinoza Gonzáles (“Espinoza”) in 1993 while she was in the custody of the Peruvian National Police (PNP). She was arrested in an abduction investigation—during which she was injured and her partner killed—then detained at police headquarters. She was later accused of belonging to MRTA (a Peruvian insurgent group), investigated for treason and a Special Military Judge issued an arrest warrant. She was convicted a month later. Espinoza was then subject to inhuman detention conditions while incarcerated from 1996 to 2001 and, in 1999, was beaten by agents of the PNP while she was in custody. The case had not been punished by the competent judicial authorities.
Espinoza was one of thousands who experienced sexual violence or torture in Peru from 1980 to 2000 as conflict raged between armed groups—including the Shining Path and the MRTA—and members of the Police and Armed Forces. A 1992 coup d’état coincided with new anti-terrorism laws which defined crimes of terrorism and treason with new norms for penalization, investigation, and trial. Sexual violence and rape against women became systematic within detention centers.

In 2003, after the conflict, Peru’s Supreme Court nullified criminal proceedings before military jurisdictions. Espinoza was tried in the ordinary jurisdiction for “crime against the public peace – terrorism” and convicted to 25 years imprisonment with no consideration of her allegations of torture and sexual violence. Her allegations were investigated in 2012, but no punishment has followed.