As Peru observes the tenth anniversary of the publication of final report and recommendations of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has expressed concern at the lack of justice in cases involving crimes against humanity in Peru.
The TRC was set up by the Peruvian government to investigate the causes and impact of two decades of internal violence and published its final report alongside detailed recommendations to the government on 28 August 2003. The report found that the conflict, which pitted extreme left guerrilla groups the Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) against government forces, left almost 70,000 victims. The TRC found that the Shining Path was responsible for the largest number of victims, the majority of whom were civilians, while state forces were responsible for 37%. Over the past ten years, a country-wide victim registration project has caused those numbers to be revised and it is now believed that there may have been more than 100,000 victims.
The TRC also published detailed recommendations, with an emphasis on justice for victims, aimed at preventing future violence. Unfortunately a large number of cases, especially those involving state forces, have stalled due to obstruction from government ministries and the military. In some instances, cases have been shelved altogether.
In one example, the case of Jorge Parraga Castillo, a protestant pastor who was forcibly disappeared, tortured and later killed on the Manta military base in 1989, was archived after the Ministry of Defence and the military refused to provide the names of those responsible. Prosecutions of those responsible for massacres, including the extra-judicial execution of six young men during a church service in 1984 in the hamlet of Callqui and the murder of 123 civilians including infants and the elderly in the community of Putis in the same year, have stalled in the courts due to lack of cooperation by the Ministry of Defense and the military.
CSW’s Acting Advocacy Director Benedict Rogers said, “As we celebrate the ten year anniversary of this groundbreaking report, we call on President Ollanta Humala to prioritise the full implementation of the TRC’s recommendations. CSW continues to monitor the progress of cases including the Callqui and Putis massacres, and lauds the persistence of our local partner organisation, Peace and Hope, and others who continue to pursue truth and justice on behalf of the victims. We urge the Peruvian government, including the Ministry of Defence and the military, to provide the names of those responsible for human rights atrocities and to cooperate actively with investigations. As institutions which are sworn to protect the civilian population and uphold the rule of law in Peru, they must take the lead in the fight against impunity.”
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.csw.org.uk.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.