Azul Rojas Marin

The Peruvian State Acknowledges Responsibility for the Violation of the rights of Azul Rojas, a Trans Woman Survivor of Abuse and Torture

  • More than 2 years ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) ruled in favour of Azul and held Peru responsible for the torture and other acts of violence that she suffered.
  • This recognition ceremony will be attended by different authorities of the Peruvian State.

Today, the Peruvian State will for the first time apologise to a Peruvian citizen who is a member of the LGTBIQ+ community for the violation of her human rights. This apology will be offered to Azul Rojas Marín, a trans woman who suffered torture and sexual violence by police officers, and who, not finding justice at the national level, brought her case to the Inter-American Court, which ruled in her favour in February 2020.

The ceremony will take place in the auditorium of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights at 3:00 p.m. (Peruvian time) and will be broadcast live from the social media platforms of Promsex, the National Coordinator for Human Rights (CNDDHH), REDRESS and the Ombudsman’s Office. The activity will be attended by the Minister of Justice, Félix Chero, and senior officials from the Judiciary and the National Prosecutor’s Office, among other State institutions, representatives of embassies, international organisations and civil society.

The Azul case

On February 25, 2008, Azul, a trans woman, was detained by police officers in an illegal, arbitrary and discriminatory manner. She was violently taken to the Casa Grande district police station in Ascope province, Trujillo, where she remained detained until six o’clock in the morning. Once there, Azul (who at that time identified as a gay man) was the victim of ill-treatment, insults, and violence including rape, by the police officers due to his sexual orientation.

The legal actions initiated, both nationally and internationally, sought to have Azul recognizsed as a victim of psychological, physical and sexual violence due to Azul’s non-normative sexual orientation; demanded that these attacks against Azul be characterised as a form of torture, and that those responsible be punished for it as well as the officials who prevented the proper investigation of the incident and prevented proper penalties from being imposed.

In February 2020, the Inter-American Court found the Peruvian State responsible and ordered a series of reparation measures, including an act of public apology. Although this public recognition will be provided on November 3, other reparations are still pending, such a plan to provide training and raise awareness regarding the rights and treatment of LGBTI people, particularly aimed at justice, serenazgo and police officials, and a protocol to investigate and administer justice during criminal proceedings in cases concerning violence against LGBTI people.

It should be noted that there has still not been a final favourable domestic court decision to determine the criminal responsibility of the police officers for the torture and sexual violence perpetrated against Azul due to her sexual orientation.

Watch a video about Azul’s story

Read more about the case

For more information, contact Eva Sanchis, REDRESS’s Head of Communications, on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 7793 1777.