(ICC) – In the 1990´s many were arrested and sentenced under internationally condemned anti-terrorism laws, put into place under now disgraced ex-president Fujimori. A large percentage of these innocent men and women have since benefited from a review process, which allowed their cases to be resubmitted and considered for absolution or pardon. Sadly, however, many still remain in prison awaiting the outcome of their review. Many of these have now spent upwards of ten years in prison for a crime they did not commit. One of these cases involves Walter Cubas Baltazar, a Christian with two teenage children, who has spent 12 years in prison for “terrorist crimes”. Earlier this year he suffered a grave disappointment when the judges reviewing his case refused to recommend him for pardon, in what was seen to be more an effort on their part to seem harsh on terrorism in the arena of public opinion, rather than a real examination of his case.
On Monday, 27 June, when judges declared yet another innocent Christian, Pascual Vilchez, who has been in prison since 1995, to be guilty. According to Wuille, the judges did not take into account any of the evidence presented, leaving Wuille frustrated and disappointed and Pascual and his family distraught. This family has suffered particular tragedy, as his wife, Soledad , was also a victim of wrongful imprisonment in the 1990´s. Their detentions overlapped, leaving their adolescent daughters and baby son as virtual orphans and living on the streets for over a year before Soledad was finally absolved and released. The family shared with me their story of repeated tragedy over the past 15 years but also their hope that finally Pascual would receive true justice and be released to be reunited with his family.