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Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Press Release

After comments in various media concerning declarations made by Commissioner Sofía Macher Batanero to a local radio broadcasting station, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission declares.

1. Commissioner Macher’s declarations were interpreted out of context in a way that does not reflect the true sense of her declarations, as shows the verbatim transcript of the interview: “Shining Path is not a criminal organization. The Shining Path is a political party that has a fundamentalist ideology and purports to destroy the system.”

2. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission adheres to this opinion because it considers treating the Shining Path as a criminal organization hampers understanding and preventing violence in Peru.

3. The Commission has mentioned repeatedly that the Communist Party of Peru - Shining Path Fraction is a political party that engaged in crimes against humanity and human rights abuses that deserve punishment in accordance with our criminal code and international humanitarian law. Accepting it as a political party does not imply accepting its behavior or criminal methods, as we have repeatedly said before.

4. To restore the sense of politics in Peru as a way to discuss, participate and live in democracy, the Commission does not use the term “political violence” that it considers a contradiction in terms. Politics means debate, consensus-building, and working out discrepancies in a context where law and democracy rule. Violence is the precisely opposite.

5. By virtue of its mandate, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission must collect, listen to and account for the versions of all parties to the internal conflict. Only by exposing the truth about the events that took place in Peru in the 20 years of violence will it be possible to build a true collective memory to prevent those events from ever happening again.

Lima. June 9, 2003