Legal consequences for torture in children cases: the Gomez Paquiyauri Brothers vs Peru case.Torture. 2009; 19(2):118-31.T
The Gomez Paquiyauri Brothers case, before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, was the first international case concerning the protection of children in the context of armed conflict where an international court stated the law concerning the duties of States towards children even in the context of war, and provided for reparations. As such it represents a landmark decision. The case arose from the illegal detention, torture and extrajudicial execution of two minors, Emilio and Rafael Gomez Paquiyauri, at the hands of Peruvian Police in 1991, under the Fujimori Administration at a time when the internal war in Peru was at its peak. Unlike most cases coming to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court, the case had been subject to domestic criminal investigations that had led to the convictions of two low ranking policemen. Yet a more subtle pattern of impunity lied at the root of the case. Torture had been denied by the State, and the prosecutions of low ranking policemen had intended to cover up the responsibility of those who ordered a policy of torture and executions (including the existence of secret codes for the torture and elimination of suspects of "terrorism") during the years of the internal armed conflict in Peru. The joint work of legal and medical expertise in the litigation of the case permitted the establishment of the facts and the law, obtaining an award of 740,500 dollars for the victims and a number of measures of reparation including guarantees of non-repetition and satisfaction, such as the naming of a school after the victims.