Hermes Rivera Guerrero

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Rivera, a reporter for Radio Oriental in Jaén Province, Cajamarca Department, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for alleged terrorist activity. Rivera reported that Idelfonso Ugarte, a policeman, originally arrested him without charge on May 8, 1992, and later brought the charges against him. Rivera’s wife, Dilsia Miranda, accused the officer of demanding US$500 for the release of her husband and making uninvited sexual advances toward her. When she refused him, Miranda said, Ugarte apparently falsified evidence to show Rivera’s participation in terrorist attacks.
On January 26, 1995, Rivera, who was being held at Picsi Prison in Chiclayo, sewed his mouth closed and began a three-week hunger strike to protest his sentence. On March 7, 1995, his defense lawyer appealed for a review of Rivera’s case by the Supreme Court of Peru. The court overturned the 20-year sentence on September 5, 1995, and ordered a retrial.
CPJ sent a letter of inquiry on December 22, 1997, but Peruvian authorities did not provide any information on Rivera’s legal status. In December 1998, his case was still under review by the ad hoc commission that was established by President Alberto K. Fujimori in 1996 to examine the files of those convicted under Peru’s anti-terrorism laws.