Feature: In the Wake of the Internal Conflict

One of the most remarkable things to come out of Alejandro Toledo’s presidency (2001–06) was the establishment of the country’s Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación (Truth and Reconciliation Commission), which examined the innumerable acts of mass violence from the internal conflict (1980–2000). Though the panel wasn’t endowed with prosecutorial powers, its public hearings nonetheless proved to be an emotional and cathartic act. Men and women of all ages and races came forward to testify to the massacres, rapes and disappearances that had occurred at the hands of the military and various guerrilla groups during this terrible period.

In August 2003, the commission issued its final report, revealing that the death toll from that era was more than twice the original estimate: almost 70,000 people had been killed or disappeared. Along with the final report, the commission also staged an exhibit of photography called Yuyanapaq (‘to remember’ in Quechua) that is now housed at Lima’s Museo de la Nación. Even as the years pass, this poignant installation remains a profoundly moving experience.