efe-epaMarta Rullán

Maria Elena Carbajal was sterilized on 18 September 1996, after giving birth to her fourth child, amid pain and lies and under pressure from doctors who told that she might lose her newborn.

“The doctors and nurses came to ask me to have a ligation,” she says, barely able to hold back her tears. “I told them ‘no, my husband wouldn’t like it’, but they kept on repeating that I didn’t have to sign any papers, that I would be able to have more children.

“Because they kept insisting and to be able to see my son, I was forced to accept.”

Maria’s heart-rending story is just one out of the 300,000 Peruvian women -- the vast majority coming from poor, marginalized and indigenous communities -- who were subjected to forced sterilization in Peru between 1996 and 2001 under president Alberto Fujimori and his government’s eugenics campaign. EFE-EPA