Thursday, 24 December 2009

Peru: Bodies of 25 Children Exhumed

Forensic experts have revealed the remains of around 25 children in the village of Umasi, Ayacucho.

According to the witnesses, a column of Sendero Luminoso rebels ‘recruited’ “at least 40 people” in the village of Raccaya on Nov.25, 1983, most of them fourth and fifth grade children (10-12 yrs old), and led them on a forced march for more than 10 hours on a circuitous route to the village at Umasi, where they stopped for food and shelter in the school building (the villages are only about an hour and a half apart on a bad road).

A teacher at Umasi sought help from the military base at Canaria, and at dawn on Nov.27, two military patrols approached the area, surrounded the school and threw grenades into two of the schoolrooms, injuring children and the Senderistas, who surrendered. The witnesses said the military raped girls and women, and shot the children and five adults. Two large graves were dug to bury the bodies, and a third grave was dug to bury two bodies that did not fit into the others.

Forcibly recruited by Shining Path and then murdered by the forces of the State they turned to for help - another tragic, but sadly typical, example of the fate of indigenous people in the Peruvian conflict.

Exhuman los cadaveres de 25 ninos asesinados por una patrulla del Ejercito en 1983 (CNDDHH)
Peru forensic team finds bodies of 25 children killed in Ayacucho during internal war (Peruvian Times)

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