The brutal guerrilla war initiated by the Shining Path and the Peruvian government's fierce response led to illegal mass detentions, disappearances, and massacres. Human rights groups emerged quickly to investigate, publicize, and adjudicate. This presentation examines the challenges they faced, both in the difficulty of tracking events in rural areas of the Andean highlands and the necessity of creating new paradigms and language. Those groups confronted a very different situation than their well-known and influential counterparts in Argentina and Chile. Their efforts culminated in Peru’s acclaimed 2003 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Informe Final.
Charles Walker is Professor of History and the Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas at UC Davis and holds the MacArthur Foundation Endowed Chair in International Human Rights. He has published widely on Peruvian history, truth commissions, and historiography, in English and Spanish.