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Peru Truth Commission Says
69,000 Killed or Disappeared

Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission ended a two-year investigation with an August, 2003 report finding that 69,000 people had died or disappeared during two decades of internal strife.

Examining the period of 1980 to 2000, the commission interviewed some 17,000 people affected by the violence and was given unprecedented access to military documents. The report blamed the start of violence on the Shining Path, a Maoist guerilla group, which launched an uprising in 1980. However, the report also accused the army and police of playing a part in "crimes against humanity" in their response to the rebels. It found that the Shining Path killed about half of the total victims and that roughly one-third died at the hands of government security forces. Some killings were blamed on smaller rebel groups and militias, and others remain unattributed. Most of the victims were from Quechua-speaking indigenous groups, the poorest sector of Peruvian society.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed in June 2001. Its mandate was threefold: to provide an official record of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed between May 1980 and November 2000; to analyze their causes, and to recommend measures to strengthen human rights and democracy.

Since the release of the report, many human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have called for those deemed responsible for the killings to be brought to justice. As yet, no mechanism for doing so has been established.

THE REPORT
  • The Report of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación), August 28, 2003.
ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY
LINKS TO OTHER TRUTH COMMISSIONS
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
OTHER RESOURCES

Written Oct. 27, 2003.


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