Mass sterilisation scandal shocks Peru
The Health Minister, Fernando Carbone, said the government gave misleading information, offered food incentives and threatened to fine men and women if they had more children.
Poor indigenous people in rural areas were the main targets of the compulsive family planning programme until 2000,
Mr Carbone said there was evidence that Mr Fujimori and a number of high-ranking ministers could be held responsible for “incorrect procedures” and “human rights violations”.
Five hundred and seven people, from rural areas such as Cuzco and Ancash, gave testimonies to the commission.
Only 10% of these admitted having voluntarily agreed to the sterilisation procedure after promises of economic and health incentives such as food, operations and medicines.
Others said that if they refused they were told they would have to pay a fine and would not be able to seek medical help for their children.
New York Times
By CALVIN SIMS
Using Gifts as Bait, Peru Sterilizes Poor Women
Shortly before Christmas, Government health workers promised gifts of food and clothing if they underwent a sterilization procedure called tubal ligation.
Critics of the program, which was begun in 1995, charge that state health care workers, in a hurry to meet Government-imposed sterilization quotas that offer promotions and cash incentives, are taking advantage of poor rural women, many of whom are illiterate and speak only indigenous Indian languages.
The critics, who include many of the program’s early supporters, […] They also charge that many state doctors are performing sloppy operations, at times in unsanitary conditions.
”They always look for the poorest women, especially those who don’t understand Spanish,” said Gregoria Chuquihuancas, another Tocache resident. ”They make them put their fingerprint on a sterilization paper they don’t understand because they can’t read. If the women refuse, they threaten to cut off the food and milk programs.”
”No one has the right to intervene in people’s life this way,” Dr. Solari said. ”It’s criminal.”
Three years ago, when President Alberto K. Fujimori announced plans to promote birth control as a way to reduce family size and widespread poverty in Peru,
In 1997, state doctors in Peru performed 110,000 sterilizations on women, up from 30,000 in 1996 and 10,000 in 1995. women remain the main focus of the Government’s program because men are less likely to agree to sterilization
Health Ministry officials estimate that the 1997 sterilizations will result in 26,000 fewer births in 1998. This is good news, they say, in a country where the fertility rate — the average number of children born per woman — is 3.5, compared with 3.1 for Latin America in general and 2 for the United States.
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
Peruvian Government Shelves Investigation into Massive Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women
Peru’s government has decided to end its investigation against former health officials for thousands of forced sterilizations carried out during the late 1990s, under president Alberto Fujimori.
Human rights organizations have thoroughly documented evidence that women were physically coerced, threatened, tricked, and enticed with economic incentives during the implementation of the program, which sterilized a total of approximately 400,000 Peruvian women in just two years, 1997 and 1998, with the help of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The coercive actions of program officials have been tied to pressure from the Peruvian government to meet pre-set sterilization quotas. The economic incentives offered to desperately poor women have also been criticized as coercive, and violated existing international standards for such programs.
The decision to shelve the case has sparked protests from pro-life organizations, as well as human rights and feminist groups.
“I hope our government changes its decision,” said Carlos Polo, head of the Population Research Institute’s Latin America office in Peru, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.
“I have personally spoken with Victoria Vigo, one of the women sterilized who presented her testimony before the US Congress when the Population Research Institute presented the evidence of all of the abuses committed [during the program],” Polo said.
“Victoria was devastated. With this most recent decision on the part of the government, she will feel defrauded because the crimes that were committed against these poor Peruvian women, almost 400,000, who were sterilized in two years, now remain unpunished.”
News of the decision to cancel the investigation comes just as Colombia’s House of Representatives is passing a bill that will provide economic and other incentives to both men and women who accept sterilization.
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
Colombian House of Representatives Approves National ‘Involuntary’ Sterilization Program
Program would be “involuntary” according to U.S. standards
The Colombian House of Representatives has approved a program to convince Colombians to submit to sterilization, and provide the procedure free of charge,
Rewards to be provided to Colombians include expedited government services, preference for government subsidies, and other incentives, ACI Prensa reports. The primary sponsors of the bill are senators Samuel Arrieta and Gabriel Zapata.
News of the Colombian sterilization bill arrives at the same time that Peru ‘s right-wing government is announcing that it will shelve an investigation into that country’s former sterilization program, in which thousands of indigenous women were sterilized against their will in the 1990s, with help from the abortionist United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Colombian sterilization bill, should it pass, would be considered an “involuntary” sterilization program according to standards adopted by the United States in legislation known as the Tiahrt Amendment. The amendment regards any program that uses “incentives, bribes, gratuities, or financial reward for family planning program personnel for achieving targets or quotas, or for individuals in exchange for becoming a family planning acceptor” [would be involuntary] according to the government’s USAID program.
Sterilisation in the EU
Women in the Netherlands who are deemed by the state to be unfit mothers should be sentenced to take contraception for a prescribed period of two years, according to a draft bill before the Dutch parliament.
The proposed legislation would further punish parents who defied it by taking away their newborn infant. “If someone refuses the contraception and becomes pregnant, the child must be taken away directly after birth.” [explained the author of the bill Marjo Van Dijken of the socialist PvDA]
Nazi Germany was not the first country to sterilize the “unfit.” Before the Nazis, the United States had led the world in policies of compulsory sterilization. In 1907, Indiana became the first state to enact a sterilization law, and by the 1930s, more than half of the states had passed laws that authorized the sterilization of inmates of mental institutions and others.
the Nazis later defended their sterilization program in the Nuremberg trials by referring to the United States
sterilization rates climbed in the United States during the depression