Ecuador, Peru hand down first prison sentences for racial discrimination

Posted on November 27, 2015 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, Human Rights Latin America, Peru, Police/Military Activity, Social Issues Karen Juanita Carrillo reported:

Ecuador and Peru – first imprisonments for racial discrimination

Ecuador: An anti-racial discrimination decision was handed down Nov. 19, 2015. This case involved Michael Arce, who entered Ecuador’s Escuela Superior Militar—the nations’ premiere military college, known as ESMIL—in 2011 in hopes of becoming Ecuador’s first Black army officer. Arce was selected to train at ESMIL after passing a battery of academic, psychological and physical tests that helped him win one of the 200 seats at ESMIL, when more than five thousand people had applied to get in.

Yet Arce found himself brutalized and psychologically tormented by an ESMIL lieutenant, identified as Fernando E., while attending the school. Arce complained that the lieutenant pitted him against his fellow cadets to such an extent that at one point he was forced to defend himself in a boxing ring against four other cadets. The lieutenant forced him to crawl through mud while totally nude, and fellow ESMIL cadets testified that the lieutenant regularly deprived Arce of food or would make him eat the food he did receive while on the floor. Arce was even denied sleep at some points and made to stand guard all night, all because the lieutenant did not like having a young Black man under his command.

Peru:A Peruvian court has handed down prison sentences for two businessmen who took no action to assist an Afro-Peruvian woman who faced racism while at work. The ruling marks the first time that an Afro-Peruvian claim of racial discrimination has been honored by the nation’s justice system and been determined to merit punishment.

The incident took place March 20, 2012, when Azucena Asunción Algendones was working as a secretary at the Municipal Water and Sewer Services Company of Huancayo, which is known as SEDAM HUANCAYO S.A. Algendones claimed that at one point, a co-worker named Judith Pérez Huaynate referred to her as a “negra cocodrilo” and made derogatory gestures towards her. Algendones demanded an apology, but instead Pérez Huaynate replied that what she had said was more of an insult to the crocodile than to her. Read Article

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