Friday, 13 August 2010

Peru: Christmas Massacre

I mentioned the exhumations at Putka last week; now, IPS has more. Relatives of those killed on Christmas Day, 1984, are camping out next to the dig to keep watch over the process.
"The families of the Putka victims won't leave the spot where the graves are located until the last body has been removed," said Chávez [of charity Paz y Esperanza], because "they have waited 25 years for the remains to be exhumed and for those responsible for the killings to be punished."
The family members are keen for justice but still fear possible reprisals. They believe that the perpetrators of the massacre belonged to a local ronda campesina, a civilian defence group. Some of the rondas did sterling work defending local people against Shining Path, but others became part of the problem, armed by the military and contributing to the already extreme level of violence in highland Peru. So now those bereaved families are watching while the experts sift through the dirt to expose items of clothing and remains, which will later be sent for DNA testing.

Unearthing Victims of the Christmass Massacre (IPS)

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