Native Community Says More Mass Graves in Western Amazon

Residents in eastern Peru’s Amazon region believe there are more mass graves from the country’s internal conflict that remain hidden under the thick tropical forest.

Mapotoa, River Ene

On the Ene River near Mapotoa, Junin

The native communities of Mapotoa and Yaynapango, located in Junin region’s Satipo province, said that another 200 bodies, including children, have yet to be found in nearby mass graves, according to RPP Noticias. The individuals would have been the victims of Peru’s bloody internal conflict between Maoist Shining Path guerrillas and state security forces.

Ashaninka community members believe that the victims would have been indigenous people from the rugged Ene River Valley, who were tortured and killed by the Shining Path.

Thousands of native people from central-eastern Peru, particularly among the Ashaninka communities, suffered in the crossfire between the Shining Path and the counterinsurgency troops trained and based in the nearby Mazamari area during the 1980s and 1990s.  Women and especially children were kidnapped and enslaved, and whole hamlets were burned down, as the Ashaninka refused to assist or submit to the Shining Path, while other hamlets were attacked and raised by the counterinsurgency groups because they were suspected of aiding the Shining Path.

The possibility of more mass graves in the area comes only a couple weeks after reports emerged that 15 mass graves were found in the same area. A local resident, Jose Huaraca, told RPP that there are between 15 and 30 bodies in each grave.

The news of these mass graves comes in the same week that an Ashaninka survivor of the Shining Path violence, Ruth Buendía, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Award for her work in defending her people’s territories, specifically against the Pakitzapango and Tambo 40 hydroelectric projects on the Ene River.

Some 69,000 people were killed during Peru’s internal conflict, many of whom were rural, indigenous people caught in the cross-fire between the leftist rebel groups and the state’s security forces.

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2 Comments

  1. Those of us who were “in the jungle” in those years were aware of these massacres…..NICE PEOPLE, Communists….all the more reason to keep Movadef Senderos IN PRISON until their trials….so that they can’t do more harm to the people of Peru. They would harm this society if they could, and they certainly have tried to do so. Their Leader, Guzman…says that these massacres were just “collateral damage”…and that these deaths of poor campesinos were “justified”.

    Tells you a LOT about how Communists think, doesn’t it?

  2. Jason W. Smith, Ph.D. says:

    This note from Mr. Normal reminds me that it wasn’t just fascist gringos in the jungle but also a few gringos like me, taking the other side. For anyone interested let me refer you to my autobiographical account Shining Path, The Peruvian Revolution (Volume 3 in the series Idaho Smith’s Search for the Foundation) 2nd edition available in e-book form from Kindle Books www. amazon. com
    or one of the many first edition printed copies in used books or in university libraries (www. worldcat. org)

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