Press Release Nº
Second day of exhumations
EXHUMATION OF MASS GRAVES IN SANCAYPATA ENDS
With the findings of the remains of three people assassinated
in 1983, the exhumation of the clandestine grave located in
the area of Sancaypata, district of Totos, province of Cangallo – Ayacucho,
According to the preliminary information given by the Ombudsman’s
Office, in this grave there should have been the remains of
15 people, allegedly assassinated by the Army. However, only
the remains of three people were found. Although the investigation
has not ended, the forensic experts that exhumed the grave
explained they had found evidence that led them to think that
it had been broken into, and that the remains had been spread
by the animals in the area. This information will be confirmed
at the end of the investigations.
This work is carried out by the Joint Work Platform for the
Investigation of Mass Graves, which includes the Prosecutor’s
Office, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Ombudsman’s
Office and the Human Rights National Coordinator. The procedure
ended at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
The procedure was attended by the Special Prosecutor for Forced
Disappearances, Extra-judicial Executions and Exhumations of
Clandestine Graves, Felipe Villavicencio, commissioner Alberto
Morote in representation for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
the representative of the Ombudsman’s Office of Ayacucho,
Sonia Rojas, and Pablo Rojas, representative of the Human Rights
On the second day of work the remains of the first body found
in the grave named Sancaypata 2 were recovered, while in the
Sancaypata 1 grave the only things found were one bullet casing,
some jaw bones and some clothing.
A third grave was also opened, called Sancaypata 3, where also
some bullet casings were found, manufactured in 1981, and some
The remains of two other bodies were found in the grave called
Sancaypata 2, where the first body was found. A total of three
bodies was found in that grave, two of which were in a good
state of preservation.
Explanation to the relatives
Two days after starting the exhumation, Prosecutor Felipe
Villavicencio authorized the presence of the relatives of
the possible victims at the site. They looked into the open
grave trying to recognize the clothing of their loved ones
missing, or some sign that would allow them to identify them.
For some minutes and with the aid of an interpreter, Prosecutor
Villavicencio explained to the relatives the work carried
out by the forensic experts. He told them that they were
trying to gather together as much evidence as possible, that
would help them to identify the remains that had been exhumed
with some certainty. He also told them that this was a long
and very painful process and he asked them for cooperation.
It should be noted that the relatives of the victims possibly
buried in this place have accompanied the process since the
beginning. They stayed there during the day when the forensic
experts started the process for recovering the remains of
the people buried in these graves.
For many the experience has been painful, and therefore the
support provided by the group of psychologists from the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission at the site was very valuable.
They talked to each one of the relatives that came to the
site of Sancaypata, where the exhumation of the graves was
Procedures at Ccarpacassa to start tomorrow
This afternoon, a delegation from the Prosecutor’s
Office and forensic experts went to the site of Ccarpacassa
in order to delimit the place where the exhumation will start
tomorrow. They will also visit the cemetery, where part of
the remains that will be exhumed tomorrow at the graves of
Ccarpacassa are supposedly buried.
According to existing information, between April 8th and
15th, 1983, four people were arrested in the district of
Totos by combined forces of the Army from the Base of Totos
and the Police from the area. These people were accused of
being part of the Shining Path and appeared on a list of
alleged terrorists because they did not go to the community
meetings convoked by the Police in the area.
According to the preliminary information on this case, the
remains of four people would be buried in the grave of Ccarpacassa
and the remains of two more would be at the local cemetery.
All this information will be confirmed at the end of these
Lima, August 27th, 2002
Joint Work Platform
in the Investigation of Mass Graves