February 23 2023 GM

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Glitter Meetups

Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IF Square on the TCU Mattermost, at 9am EST / 2pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.

Perú: The Digital Rights in the Country and in a Social Demonstration Context

We will learn about Perú digital rights challenges and what the country currently is facing, considering the protests against Peruvian President Dina Boluarte's government and the brutal repression. What are the current main digital rights issues and topics in the country? How is their personal data protection, transparency system, and tech tools development status? We also will talk about "Habeas Corpus", the tool that prepares a petition for you to request your release in case of arrest exercising your right to protest.

Bio: Dilmar Villena is a lawyer interested in issues of Constitutional Law and freedoms and rights in digital environments. He is the executive director of Hiperderecho, a non-profit Peruvian organisation dedicated to facilitating public understanding and promoting respect for rights and freedoms in digital environments.


Could you introduce yourself to the folks who are arriving in the room?

I'm Dilmar Villena (@dilmarv on Mattermost)  and currently I'm the Executive Director of Hiperderecho, Peruvian NGO that works on digital rights. On my free time, I like dancing and playing video games (currently playing Europa Universalis IV)

How would you describe Hiperderecho?
  • Hiperderecho is a civil society organization that focuses on defending human rights in digital spaces. It is the first organization of its kind in the country. We have a vision: Internet as freedom. We want cyberspace to be a means to empower human rights, not the other way around
  • We have a organization mascot named Hiperión, who is a Peruvian spectacled bear (although he is often mistaken for a panda)
What would be the main challenges in Perú related to digital rights?
  • There are some main challenges here in Peru:
  • Like many other countries in the region, we have a very wide digital divide. This affects mainly the Andean and Amazonian communities, as due to the Peruvian geography, extending the telecommunications infrastructure is very difficult and costly.
  • We also have issues regarding regulation on freedom of expression and blocking of websites
  • We have registered cases in which some websites are being block without any judicial order or any kind of garanty (like a minimum due process)
  • And, finally, we think that online based gender violence is an issue here too, but police and prosecutors don't take it seriously
In the past few months, Peru has been experiencing a dramatic social political crisis. After the ousting and arrest of its former President, Pedro Castillo in December 2022, the country has seen its worst outbreak of violence in years. The country is currently ruled by Dina Boluarte, the former vice president during the Castillo government, and she has responded to the social demonstrations with brutal police and military repression. Could you explain what the demonstrators are demanding
  • The political crisis context in Peru is very very complex. Our current political crisis can be tracked 5 years ago, and what is happening right now with Dina Boluarte and Pedro Castillo is just the culmination of that
  • Most of the demonstrators are demanding 3 basic things:
    • New elections
    • Dissolution of congress
    • A new constitution through an Constituent Assembly
  • The very few are the ones that are demanding Pedro Castillo to be restated as President
We learnt about Habeas Corpus, the tool that allows the simple and automated processing of filing a request for the release of someone who has been unjustly detained. How this initiative started and what impact has this had during this crisis?
  • Habeascorpus.pe is an initiative that takes place in the context of (another) political crisis when we changed president
  • In 2020, President Vizcarra was impeached by the congress
  • He was as president with a lot of popularity, so, when he was impeached, a lot of people went to the streets to protest
  • Whoever, there where a lot of arbitrary detentions reported and, in most cases, lawyer were overwhelmed trying to handle all these arbitrary detentions
  • We thought to develop a tool that allows people who witness arbitrary detentions or who know someone who has been detained, to file a legal claim to seek their release
Could you explain how Habeas Corpus works?
  • In Peru we have a constitutional process called habeas corpus. This is an emergency process that seeks to stop violations on someone's freedom or integrity
  • As an emergency process, it doesn't much formality
  • So, in order to make this tool, we thought that would be helpful to make automatize the redaction of this legal claim
  • Basically, you fill out the requested information as if it were a form (putting the facts that you witnessed, the name of the detained person, etc.), and then an automatic habeas corpus claim is generated, which can be submitted via email or physically before the criminal judge. This is to request the release of a detained person
Have you been able to see the impact? Do you know about people who have used it?
  • The tool has high usage peaks in contexts of political upheaval
  • Recently, the constitutional procedural code has been modified, so we had to make some updates
  • We know that the tool has been very popular on tiktok and twitter, and even some far right minded people, called us "pandilleros digitales" (like digital gang members) because of developing it
  • We know that there are people using it, but we could know or meet someone that effectively used it in a criminal court
Could you recommend how to keep us well informed about Perú? In this sense, would you recommend some media or organization's initiatives?
  • Beside peruvian mainstream media (that is not informing at all), there are some independent journalist that are doing a very nice work and investigating too
  • IDL - Reporteros
  • Also Ojo Público
Does Hiperderecho have a position about this thing about dissolving the congress? Maybe you can expand on that?
  • Our constitution allows the President to dissolve Congress but only in one specific case: when the congress censors or denies confidence in the Prime Minister twice.
  • That didnt happen when Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve congress. So, in fact, we facing an attempted coup d'état (at least formally and constitutionally speaking) but that doesn't change the fact that our political system is worn out
  • There is no representativeness or confidence in the Congress. In fact, the Congress is very unpopular and the demands for the closure of the Congress go in that direction: more towards a demand of 'everyone should go away' (President and Congress)
How do you see the situation of queer and trans folks being targeted in the protests in Peru?
  • In the current protest, there weren't much reports on queer or trans people being attacked but we do have a problem here related to that, in relation to sexual exploitation and hired killing
  • govt/police are being brutal with any person that is protesting. We've heard some complaints of sexual abuse towards young women in police departments
Would you like to share your contact (mail, Twitter, or what works better for you) to the community members, just in case somebody wants to reach you again?
  • Email address: dilmar@hiperderecho.org
  • Twitter account: @dilmar207