Manuel Cruz Cavalcanti

Mr Cavalcanti, a campesino from the community of Sta. Maria de Ojeal (Amazon River), was severely beaten with a stick several times at a police station to make him confess that he had stolen cattle from another campesino. The police officers were sentenced to five years in prison, and the payment of 1,000 “nuevos soles” was determined as civil reparation. However, the decision was annulled due to procedural irregularities and a new oral trial will now take place.

Legal proceedings that had been initiated were interrupted  (“quiebra del proceso”) in March 2009 and again in September 2009. For the third time in the year the case started in October 2009 and is now moving quickly. On 18 December 2009, the witness was heard in Court and on 22 December 2009 there was an inspection of the crime scene. In January 2010, REDRESS submitted an amicus curiae brief for the proceedings which covers issues relating to the assessment of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.

On 20 January 2011 the police officers were again sentenced to five years’ imprisonment each, and compensation was granted to Mr Cavalcanti, however the amount was considered inadequate and the case went to the Supreme Court. REDRESS submitted another amicus curiae regarding the quantum and quality of reparation measures. The Supreme Court rendered its judgment slightly increasing the amount of compensation awarded by the lower court. 


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