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ICC Note: Over the course of two decades of guerrilla warfare in the 1980’s and 90’s between left wing rebel groups and the Peruvian government an estimated 100,000 dead, most of whom were civilians. Massacres also targeted Christians and church leaders opposed to the group. Ten years after a groundbreaking 2003 report was published on the atrocities committed, the Peruvian government has yet to prosecute many of those responsible for the deaths, including the abduction, torture and murder of a Protestant pastor in 1989.
8/27/2013 Peru (BosNewsLife) – Christian rights activists have urged Peru to properly investigate the mass killings of Christians and other civilians, ahead of the 10th anniversary of a historic report by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
On August 28, 2003, the government-backed TRC presented a report on two decades of internal violence to the government, accompanied by recommendations aimed at achieving some justice for victims and to prevent future violence.
Yet, advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said it was “concerned at the lack of justice in cases involving crimes against humanity in Peru.”
The TRC report found that Peru’s conflict, which pitted left guerrilla groups the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) against government forces, left almost 70,000 people dead with the Shining Path responsible for the largest number of victims.
Most of them were civilians, while state forces were responsible for 37 percent of those killed, according to TRC investigators.
Following a country-wide victim registration project in the past ten years, the death toll was revised upwards to over 100,000 victims, including church leaders, CSW said.
“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,” the advocacy group complained.
As an example, CSW mentioned the case of Jorge Parraga Castillo, a protestant pastor who was forcibly disappeared, tortured and later killed on the Manta military base in 1989.
The case “was archived after the Ministry of Defense and the military refused to provide the names of those responsible,” CSW added.
Additionally, “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,” the group said.
Officials had no immediate comment, though they have made clear they take the massacres seriously.

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