El Frontón

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El Frontón Island
Isla El Frontón  (Spanish)
Las ruinas del Frontón 2013-04-04 06-58.jpg
Ruins of the former prison at El Frontón Island.
El Frontón Island is located in Peru
El Frontón Island
El Frontón Island
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 12°07′S 77°11′W / 12.117°S 77.183°W / -12.117; -77.183Coordinates: 12°07′S 77°11′W / 12.117°S 77.183°W / -12.117; -77.183
Region Callao
Additional information
Time zone

El Frontón is an island off the coast of Callao, Peru.

For much of El Frontón's history, the island was used as a prison. Fernando Belaúnde Terry, who was twice president of Peru, was imprisoned on the island as a political prisoner. During his imprisonment, Belaúnde Terry made an unsuccessful attempt to swim to freedom.[1] Hugo Blanco was also imprisoned on the island.[2]

During the insurgency of the Shining Path, the island was used as a prison for Maoist militants.[3] On June 18, 1986, the Shining Path led an uprising on El Frontón as well as two other prisons. The government of Alan García treated the prisons as war zones, and the Peruvian Navy was sent to the island. Many of the prisoners involved in the rebellion were killed, and Human Rights Watch claimed that evidence suggested that "no fewer than ninety" of the prisoners killed were victims of extrajudicial executions.[4][5]

The behavior of the Peruvian Government during the uprising in the prison led to censure by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

El Frontón is the main setting for Alberto Durant's film Alias 'La Gringa' (1991).[6]


  1. ^ Pennington, Richard (January–February 1995). "Nation Builder: The epic life of Peru's Fernando Belaúnde Terry, BAR '35". The Alcalde. University of Texas at Austin Alumni Magazine. Emmis Communications: 20. ISSN 1061-561X. 
  2. ^ Mora, Carlos (2007). Latinos in the West: the student movement and academic labor in Los Angeles. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 83. ISBN 0-7425-4784-1. 
  3. ^ (in Spanish) Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Las ejecuciones extrajudiciales en el penal de El Frontón y Lurigancho (1986).
  4. ^ "World Prison Massacres". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008. 
  5. ^ Weschler, Joanna (1993). The Human Rights Watch global report on prisons. Human Rights Watch. p. 93. ISBN 1-56432-101-0. 
  6. ^ James Higgins -Lima: A Cultural and Literary History - Page 193 1902669983 2005 El Fronton is the main setting for Alberto Durant's Alias "La Gringa" (1991), a film evoking the contradictions of Peruvian society by showing common criminals and Shining Path militants sharing the same space. Though founded in 1537, Callao is a relatively modern town, as in 1746 it was destroyed by a massive earthquake and a huge tidal wave which wiped out most of its population. So great was the wave that it is said to have reached as far as the eighteenth-century church of ..