Peru military officers to be tried for human rights violations

At least 80 ex-military officers will be tried for human rights violations committed during Peru’s internal armed conflict in the 1980s and early 1990s. The head of Peru’s National Criminal Court, Judge Pablo Talavera, told Radio San Borja that oral proceedings will begin this year against the perpetrators of massacres in the towns of Accomarca in 1985 and Cayara in 1988, as well as the 1986 killings in the El Frontón jail.

“Our dedication this year is orientated to human rights cases, complex cases, with a lot of difficult evidence,” said Talavera. “We have important cases that are going to be moved to the next level and others that are going to begin.”

According to daily Peru 21, human rights organizations have also requested President Alan García be indicted for allegedly authorizing the killings, which occurred during his first administration. The government-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated Peru’s 1980-2000 dirty war against the Shining Path held Garcia politically _ not criminally _ responsible for military abuses during his first term.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in its 2003 report that 210 people were killed in the Accomarca, Cayara and El Frontón massacres. The victims were targeted by the armed forces for alleged ties to Shining Path guerrillas, which initiated a violent campaign in 1980 to overthrow the Peruvian State.

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