5th anniversary of TRC report

30 September 2008


August 28th saw the fifth anniversary of the publication of the final report and recommendations of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The report laid much of the blame for the country's internal armed conflict (1980-2000) on the inequality, discrimination and exclusion of the majority of Peruvians, especially those from poor, Quechua-speaking communities in the high Andes. Although implementation of the recommendations has been largely disappointing, there have been a number of key advances in the area of reparations.

Fast forward five years, and Peru finds itself back under the command of President Alan García, whose first term in office (1985-1990) saw huge increases in terrorist activities and hyperinflation. Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo stated that the government "considers the work of the TRC to be important" and that it "had performed important work that we respect". Other key government players, such as Defence Minister Antero Flores Aráoz and first vice-president Luis Giampietri, were not as diplomatic in their assessment. Giampietri doesn't believe that the report has contributed to the peace process. Flores Aráoz ruled out the possibility of an apology from the armed forces for excesses committed during the conflict saying that he did not see any reason to apologise for the actions of others.

Former president of the TRC Salomón Lerner outlined in his commemoration that five years should be sufficient time to push forward the recommendations made in the report, yet is too short a timeframe to change the national psyche of a country. According to Lerner, it's too soon to confine the final report and recommendations of the TRC to the past, as change is both necessary and possible.

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