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
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
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
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.
|ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY
- Sebastian Brett,
Peru Confronts a
Violent Past: The Truth Commission Hearings in Ayacucho,
Human Rights Watch, (2003).
- Pius Langa, Lecture: South
Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 34 Int’l Law 347,
- George Lawson,
Truth or Dare: Truth Commissions Between Old and New Nations,
Open Democracy, (November 21, 2002).
- Tina Rosenberg,
Truth Commissions, New York Times, (December 9, 2001).
- Jonathan D. Tepperman, Truth and
Consequences, Foreign Affairs, (March/April, 2002).