Lerner recommends the Defensoria del Pueblo to lead Memory Museum project

The resignation of novelist Mario Vargas Llosa as the president of the commission to build Peru’s Memory Museum should not impede the development of the project, according to the former rector of Peru’s Catholic University (PUCP) Salomon Lerner. Peru’s ombudsman – the Defensoria del Pueblo – could be in charge of the project, Lerner told Ideeleradio.

“The Defensoria del Pueblo has sufficient merits for us to trust in [the organization],” according to Lerner, a former commission member who recently resigned for personal reasons. “Being the Defensoria del Pueblo, it also has the [responsibility] to present this memorial in the name of the people.”

“This happened in good timing, because we can put the cards on the table again… and allowing for an institution, perhaps more organized, to take on this project with clear guarantees of its objective which the Truth Commission pointed out,” Lerner said.

The museum is to honor the 70,000 people that died during the 20 years of political violence in Peru between the Maoist Shining Path insurgents and government security forces.

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was headed by Lerner, 54 percent of all deaths in the conflict were attributed to the Shining Path rebels. The armed forces were blamed for 30 percent, and most of the remaining fatalities were blamed on government-backed peasant militias.

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