U.S. Court: Ochoa Lizarbe v. Rondon




One of two sister cases, Ochoa Lizarbe v. Rondon was filed on July 11, 2007 before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Our clients, Teófila Ochoa and Cirila Pulido, brought claims against Juan Rivera Rondón, a former Lieutenant of the Peruvian Army, for engaging in a joint criminal enterprise or conspiracy with other military officers who carried out the Accomarca Massacre on August 14, 1985.

In February 2009, Judge Peter J. Messite denied Rivera Rondón’s motion to dismiss the case. Rivera Rondón appealed the denial, asserting that as a former foreign official, he enjoyed immunity from being sued for human rights violations. Rondón’s claim of immunity failed. On September 22, 2010, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court and denied immunity to Rondón.

The case was remanded to the district court but was stayed after the United States deported Rondon back to Peru on August 15, 2008, where he was detained on criminal charges relating to the Accomarca Massacre. The civil suit in Maryland remained stayed pending the outcome of the criminal trial in Peru.

On September 1, 2016, the court found Rondon guilty of grave human rights violations and sentenced him to 23 years in jail.  After determining that Rondon had no assets in the U.S., our clients decided to voluntarily dismiss the civil suit.  On January 3, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Maryland dismissed the case without prejudice.