Fecha de inicio:
9 de noviembre de 2002.
COMISEDH Report on the Exhumations
sobre Lucanamarca: UnaTerca Esperanza
Last November 4th, the Joint Work Platform on Common Burial
Exhumations made up by the Public Prosecutor’s Office,
the Ombudsman’s Office, the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission and the Human Rights National Coordination Entity
started the exhumation of clandestine burials located in
eight places in the district of Lucanamarca, province of
Huancasancos, department of Ayacucho.
For this procedure, the platform brought a group of experts
made up by forensic anthropologists and archeologists and
criminology experts, specialized photographers and auxiliary
technical personnel. The procedure was in charge of Doctor
María Isabel Barreda, coordinator of investigation
tasks on Forced Disappearances, Out-of-Law Executions and
Exhumations of Clandestine Burials in Ayacucho and Doctor
Edwin Antonio Sánchez Salazar from the Mixed Province
Prosecutor’s Office of Huancasancos. Mercedes Salado,
a Spaniard representative of the Guatemala Forensic Anthropology
Foundation participated as an expert and Luis Fondebrider,
representative of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of
Argentina, participated as international monitor.
According to information provided by NGO Comisedh, which
has carried out a study on this case, these burials were
collective and individual and contained the remains of 69
people who were murdered on April 3rd 1983 by a Shining Path
group that entered in Lucanamarca in the communities of Muylacruz,
Llacchua, Ataccara and Yanaccollpa located about 4.000 meters
above sea level.
Santiago de Lucanamarca is a district of the province of
Huancasancos, located 10 hours from the city of Huamanga.
It is comprised by the villages of San José de Huarcaya,
San Antonio de Julo, Santa Rosa de Ccocha, La Merced de Tío,
Asunción de Erpa and San Martín de Tiopampa
and has an approximate population of 2.529 inhabitants, mostly
women and children.
In Lucanamarca, the Shining Path started to act since the
end of the 70s, according to versions of the population who
remember that Huamanga University students and professor
arrived in this town to enroll people. In 1982, the Shining
Path “officially” entered the zone and carried
out an assembly with the community, where it appointed its
first local authorities.
The rules imposed by the Shining Path generated dissatisfaction
among the community members, who decided to become organized
in the Lucanamarca Self-defense Committee. In March 1983,
community members from the Huarcaya village killed two Shining
authorities. Then authorities from the Sacsamarca, Huancasancos
and Lucanamarca districts decided to fight the Shining Path.
Apparently, this decision provoked the violence response
of the Shining Path leaders against these people.
Arrival in Lucanamarca
On November 7th, the teams of the Joint Work Platform for
the Exhumation of Common Burials arrived in the Lucanamarca
district after 10 hours of travelling from the city of Huamanga.
The next day, this team was received by Lucanamarca’s
mayor, José Huaripaucar and his governor, Percy Tacas,
who prepared a welcome ceremony for the delegation. The ceremony
was a timely occasion for doctor Wilfredo Pedraza, responsible
for the Special Investigation Unit of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission and for Jorge Salazar, representative of the Public
Prosecutor’s Office, to explain the people about the
activities to be carried out in that locality.
The Joint Platform representatives met the victims’ families,
who recently created an Association of Families of the Victims
of April 3rd 1983. They were told about the work to be developed
by specialized experts and why the remains of their families
would be taken to Lima to be analyzed and identified. At
the end of this meeting, the families requested the construction
of niches to bury the victims of this massacre so that the
community could remember and have the remains of their relatives
close to them.
The procedures were started on Saturday November 9. To carry
out this work, two work groups participated and intervened
the burials and cemeteries of the zone simultaneously. The
first group was led by the Huancasancos Prosecutor, Edwin
Sánchez and the Spanish expert Mercedes Salado. This
group intervened the villages of Yanaccollpa (the remains
of 27 people were recovered), of Asunción de Erpa
(the remains of 4 people were exhumated) and of San José de
Julo (the remains of 3 people were found).
The second team, lead by Prosecutor María Isabel
Barreda and International Monitor Luis Fondebrider worked
in the Muylacruz village (1 body was recovered), in the cemetery
of Santa Rosa de Qocha village, (the remains of 3 people
were exhumated), in the cemetery of the district of Lucanamarca
(where the remains of 20 people were found) in the village
of Ataccara (where the remains of 3 people were found) and
in the village of Llacchua (where the remains of 8 people
The Relatives’ Valuable Support
Although intervention in these places had been programmed
for more than 9 days, the experts’ team concluded their
activities in less time, and this was possible thanks to
the victims’ relatives’ valuable support. Besides
cooperating with identification of their beloved ones’ garments,
they also supported the experts in locating the places where
their remains lay.
Identification of Remains
The exhumation of remains concluded on Thursday November
14th and the remains of 62 people were recovered. These remains
are already in Lima waiting for the morgue work to be started,
so the victims can be identified. To do so, the Joint Work
Platform on the exhumation of burials is working out the
details to start with this procedure. At the end of this
work, the remains will be given back to their families, who
will bury them in their place of origin.