February 23, 1998
My name is Hector Hugo Chavez Chuchon, and I am the president of the regional medical federation of Ayacucho, Andahuaylas, and Huancavelica in the Republic of Peru. This area is the poorest in the country. I do not belong to any political group, and hope that the Peruvian government has as much success as possible in its enterprises. But, at the same time, I have the moral obligation to come forward and denounce wrongs there, where they are done.
I’d like to describe my work since the start of the tubal ligation and vasectomy sterilization campaign. There are approximately 200 doctors in my region. Some of them have come to declare and demand that the federation step forward to defend doctors and to protest the “inhumane,” massive, and expanding sterilization campaign, a campaign which imposes quotas on medical personnel. As proof of these quotas, I have this document which is available in the information packet that you have. These doctors do not like the way in which people are brought in for these surgical procedures, where information is poor, incomplete, and generally deficient. Also, the places where these operations are performed are for the most part unsuitable, and the personnel often insufficiently trained.
The Ministry of Health denies that there are campaigns and quotas referring to sterilizations, and absolves itself of its responsibility, without taking into account among other things, that the doctors work under their orders. Doctors work under pressure from their superiors, are given quotas and submitted to other more subtle forms of pressure. It is also true that doctors work under very unstable employment conditions, and could easily lose their posts.
I would like to have the people of the United States understand what their government is doing in Peru. My country is very large, and we do not have more than 25 million inhabitants, which in no way calls for a brutal birth control campaign, especially not one of sterilization. The facts show that prosperous countries like Japan have a high population density. Even though they are geographically much smaller, and lack the natural resources of my country, they live prosperously. So, we can see that the most important thing for a country is its human resources, which can generate wealth and wellbeing. Therefore, I would like especially to say that if you want to help my country, do so by investing in education and job creation, and not using these millions of dollars for population control programs.