Melissa Rocío Patiño Hinostroza



In February 2008, young Peruvian poet and business administration student, Melissa Rocío Patiño Hinostroza, was accused of being an accessory to terrorist activities, stemming from her alleged involvement with a leftwing political organization which the Peruvian government claims is linked to terrorist groups.



Twenty year old Patiño is a member of ‘Círculo del sur’ (Southern Circle) poetry group in Lima and runs a poetry programme on the radio, as well as cultural activities for young people. She was detained on 29 February 2008 when returning from a conference in Ecuador organized by the leftwing political organization Bolivarian Continental Coordinator (Coordinadora Continental Boliviariana – CCB). Patiño was subsequently charged with being an accomplice to terrorism on the basis of her attendance at the congress of CCB, which the Peruvian authorities claim is linked to terrorist groups in Peru and abroad. The poet denies being involved in any political groups, and has said that her main motivation for attending was the opportunity to travel to Ecuador.

Patiño was detained in the Santa Monica maximum security prison in Chorrillos, Lima, for almost two and a half months. According to our information, her privileges were severely restricted: she was reportedly being held with convicted criminals, was locked up alone in her cell for 20 hours a day without access to radio or television, was not allowed to exercise outside or to speak to prisoners under a different regime, was only allowed visits from family members once a week, and had only very limited access to a public telephone. 


Patiño was released from the Santa Monica maximum security prison on the evening of 8 May 2008 and was allowed to return home on payment of 1,000 soles (approx. £186) bail. Months later, the authorities still have yet to produce any concrete evidence to back up the charges against her. Nevertheless, she remains on trial on terrorism charges which carry a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years. English PEN therefore continues to urge the authorities either to substantiate the charges against Patiño and ensure that she receives a fair trial, or to drop the case.

Please send appeals:


Calling on the Peruvian authorities:

– Either to provide evidence to back up the charges of terrorism against Patiño, and to ensure she receives a free and fair trial;
– Alternatively, to drop all charges against her.

Appeals to:


Dr. Alan García Pérez
Presidente de la República del Perú
Jr. de la Unión S/N 1ra. Cuadra, Cercado de Lima, Lima, Peru

Salutation: Su Excelencia/ Your Excellency
Minister of Justice
Dra. Rosario Fernández Figueroa
Ministra de Justicia
Ministerio de Justicia, Scipión LLona N° 350, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Salutation: Señora Ministra/Dear Minister
Human Rights Ombudsman
Dra. Beatriz Merino
Defensoría del Pueblo
Jirón Ucayali 388, Lima-Perú 


It may be more effective, however, to send the above appeals via the Peruvian representative in London:


HE Mr Ricardo Luna
Embassy of Peru

52 Sloane Street

Salutation: Su Excelencia/ Your Excellency


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