en ceremonias y otros
Truth and Reconciliation Commission report
the Prosecutor’s office on the Huanta case Salomón
Huanta, March 10th, 2003
Ladies and gentlemen:
This morning, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission comes
to the Huanta town and, particularly, to its municipal stadium,
to present to the country the conclusions of a report on
serious abuses to human rights that had its epicenter to a
in these same facilities. The stadium, reflection of the
whole effort of the Huanta people, became a center of abuse
between 1983 and 1985. An ill-conceived anti subversive strategy
that was meant to curb the criminal acts of subversive organizations,
provoked, in turn, numerous crimes, some of which are summarized
in the report delivered to the Prosecutor’s office so
that it complies with the functions the Constitution assigns
By presenting these three cases, the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission wants, in fact, to especially point out that the
justice administration organs have a very serious responsibility
before the country, which is complying with their duty of receiving,
processing, investigating and sanctioning those who have incurred
in very serious crimes while they wore the uniform of our military
and police institutions. At the same time, we want to state
that Peru’s navy, whose tradition as champion as our
sovereignty is acknowledged by all, must contribute, obeying
to its own history, to sanction anybody who betrayed its own
Among its objectives, the Commission aims at contributing
with the clarification of crimes and human rights abuse perpetrated
by subversive organizations or state agents to be carried out
by jurisdictional organs. To that end, the Commission works
restlessly in clarifying facts. The report we now present is
the result of investigation activities we developed to comply
with our mandate.
The Commission has been able to identify consistent behavior
of patterns in the subversive and anti subversive activities
developed in the province of Huanta in 1984. In what regards
PCP- Sendero Luminoso, we have been able to find a generalized
threatening pattern against the population in murders of authorities,
policemen, military and general population. On the other hand,
we have found that under the cover of anti subversive policy,
state agents perpetrated numerous forced disappearance, torture
acts and out-of-law executions. The increase of dead people
in the provinces of Huanta and La Mar is both due to the Shining
Path actions and to the activity of the navy infants that on
January 21st 1983 established their general headquarters at
this stadium. The main measures established by this military
force in the zone were imposing the curfew, organizing patrols
to rural areas of the valley and progressive installation of
anti subversive bases.
According to the ombudsman’s office between January
1st 1983 and August 23rd 1984, 302 people were arrested and
disappeared in the province of Huanta. In turn, The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission figures, without being definitive
yet, are smashing: the province of Huanta gathers most of the
dead people in all the departments of Ayacucho and, therefore,
in all the country, between 1980 and 1984. Likewise, it is
the province with the largest number of dead people in all
the period investigated by the Commission from 1980 to 2000.
The facts the Commission is presenting now are the hardest
and most instructive example of violence the country suffered
in 1984. Firstly, the murders of six people belonging to Presbyterian
Evangelic Church in the community of Callqui on August 1st,
1984. Secondly, on August 2nd, the abduction and disappearance
of journalist Jaime Ayala Sulca, one of La Republica’s
reporters, at the Navy base located in the Municipal Stadium
of Huanta. Thirdly, some days later, on August 23rd, the finding
of 50 corpses buried in Pucayacu, some kilometers north of
the city of Huanta in lands belonging to the Acobamba province,
department of Huancavelica.
In this period, other facts occurred
which, without having the demonstrative strength of those
we just presented, also
express together, a systematic pattern among the armed forces,
particularly the Navy, in the investigated period. This pattern
was the arrest of hundreds of people by military agents who,
without identifying themselves, and in many cases breaking
into their houses in the middle of the night, took them before
the astonishment of their families and friends without pointing
out why they were arresting them and without informing their
families and friends where they were taking them.
Thanks to the testimony of the few people who were able to
obtain their freedom, we have been able to reconstruct their
fate and the mistreatment they suffered. However, for each
one of those people who can testify of what happened, there
are numerous others, who, arrested in similar circumstances,
never went back to their homes and make up today that intolerable
list that dishonors our country, missing people.
The information gathered by the Commission permits to state
that those arrested in Huanta and its surroundings were taken
to the navy base located in the stadium where they were interrogated
with different torture methods. A few of them were freed and
most simply disappeared. We can state that this military behavior
responded to a well-known pattern that was assumed by the command
during that time. Because of the magnitude and frequency of
these facts and considering the logics of military action,
it is hard to assume that those acts obeyed only the individual
criterion of some officers or non-commissioned officers.
The cases investigated lead to affirm that the military power
of the Huanta base implemented an illegal anti-subversive strategy,
which is implied by systematic and generalized human rights
abuse. According to what was found by the Commission, the out-of-law
executions, abductions and tortures were not the result of
individual initiatives, but manifestation of a de facto strategy
of their own.
The Commission now wants to present, the results of this investigation
before the Huanta population, regarding the three cases I mentioned
at the beginning of the speech about which we have sufficient
evidence to state reasonable presumption of liability of the
Peruvian Navy marines.
The Assassination of Evangelic People in Callqui
Between 6 and 8pm of August 1st 1984, six members of the Presbyterian
Evangelic church from the Callqui and Nisperosniyocc communities
in the province of Huanta, Ayacucho, identified as Paulino
Ccayo Ccoriñaupa, Jorge de la Cruz Quispe, Melquiades
Quispe Rojas, José Yañez Huincho, Wenceslao Huamanyalli
Oré and Constantino Yañez Huincho, were murdered
by Peruvian Navy marines from the Huanta military base.
That night approximately 27 people were gathered at the evangelic
church. After having heard insistent knocking at the temple’s
doors, they saw the violent entrance of a group of men whom
they recognized as part of the Huanta Marine Detachment, due
to their uniform and because it was not the first time they
The Navy marines asked for Concepción Chávez.
According to the witnesses, since they did not find him, they
took seven men, young and adult, whom they took out to the
temple yard. People inside the temple were forced to go on
singing. Fifteen minutes later, several shots were heard as
well as an explosion that made the walls tremble. When the
military left, the people found six of the seven persons who
had been taken out of the temple dead in the middle of blood.
Moments before, one of the community members had been taken
back to the church.
In February 1985, the ad hoc prosecutor for Huanta accused
Corvette Captain Alvaro Artaza Adrianzén and citizen
Jesús Vilca Huinchi for homicide and the examining magistrate
opened the corresponding investigation on September 26th 1985.
Nevertheless, the First Criminal Court of the Supreme Court
of Justice- when resolving a competency dispute about it- failed
in favour of having the case seen by military justice. That
sentence, issued with no juridical foundation, is one of the
major shames in the judicial history of our country.
On November 25th 1985, the Navy judge found the Navy members
free of all liability, a decision that was confirmed by the
Supreme Council of Military Justice. Once again justice was
More than seventeen years after that decision favoring impunity,
and as a result of its investigations, the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission declares that there is sufficient evidence to point
at a justified presumption that on August 1st 1984, Navy marines
stationed in Huanta murdered six defenseless people from the
communities of Callqui and Nisperosniyocc, when they were in
the Callqui Presbyterian Evangelic Church. We have arrived
to this reasonable presumption through the testimonies of victims
and witnesses and after having analyzed the investigation by
Huanta’s provincial prosecutor, the investigation carried
out by the ad hoc judge in Huamanga-Ayacucho and the Military
The Callqui and Nisperosniyocc community members murdered
that night on August 1st 1984 by the anti guerilla detachment
members of the Huanta Navy base were:
- Paulino Cayo Ccoriñaupa 49 years old, born in
Huanta province, Ayacucho, married and mason.
- Jorge de la
Cruz Quispe, 16 years old, born in Huanta province, Ayacucho,
single and student.
- Melquiades Quispe Rojas, 21 years old,
born in Huanta province, Ayacucho, single and farmer.
- José Yañez
Huincho, 18 years old, born in Huanta province, Ayacucho,
single and student.
- Wenceslao Huamanyalli
Oré, 17 years old, born in
Huanta province, Ayacucho, single and student.
Yañez Huincho, 24 years old, born in
Huanta province, Ayacucho, single.
Disappearance and Murder of Jaime Ayala Sulca
On August 2nd 1984 and about 10am, Jaime Boris Ayala Sulca,
correspondent from La República newspaper in Ayacucho
went to the Navy marines barracks at the municipal stadium
of Huanta province to protest for the raid of his mother’s
house. Several witnesses saw him enter said barracks but never
saw him leave the place although he had stayed at the door
for several hours that day.
Jaime Boris Ayala Sulca was 22 years old when he disappeared.
He was married to Rosa Pallqui Medina, with whom he had a son.
Ayala Sulca, besides being correspondent of the mentioned newspaper,
had a news program in Radio Huanta 2000.
At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon that same day, the
journalist’s sister, Zaira Ayala Sulca, approached the
Navy’s base to ask for him. She was answered that her
brother had been in the base for only 15 minutes and that he
had left afterwards.
The next day, August 3rd 1984, Rosa Luz Pallqui Medina de
Ayala, the journalist’s wife, filed a claim before the
Huanta Province Prosecutor for Jaime’s disappearance.
His family also filed a claim before Ayacucho’s Political
Military chief, army general Adrián Huamán Centeno,
for alleged abduction against this journalist. Later, on December
4th that same year, Julia Sulca, widow of Ayala, Jaime’s
mother, reiterated and broadened the claim before the General
Attorney doctor Alvaro Rey de Castro.
Taking into account the multiple evidences concerning Jaime
Ayala’s entrance to the Navy marines base and although
the arrest was denied by the military authorities, Mario Gilberto
Miranda Garay, the Province Prosecutor filed a criminal accusation
against Corvette Captain A.P. Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza
Adrianzén and Ship’s officer Román Manuel
Martínez Heredia on February 18th 1985 as presumed authors
of abduction against Jaime Ayala Sulca. On February 21st 1985,
the second Examination Court of Huamanga admitted the prosecutor’s
accusation and opened an investigation.
The case is under reserve because the accused had not been
found and had been declared fugitives. Currently, the case
is in the archives of the Ayacucho Superior Court of Justice.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has gathered enough
evidence, including the declaration of two direct witnesses
of the fact, whose identity is kept under reserve, that Ayala
Sulca was arrested by Navy marines, retained at the Huanta
municipal stadium, submitted to mistreatment and torture and
finally murdered right here. His body has not been located.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission requested the Minister
of Defense a detailed list of Peru’s Navy personnel in
service at the Huanta military base during 1984, but has not
received any response to date. However, the Commission considers
there are sufficient elements to reasonably presume that those
responsible for the abduction and further out-of-law execution
of journalist Jaime Boris Ayala Sulca are:
- Corvette Captain Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén,
who authorized the entrance of the journalist to the military
facilities and presumably ordered his arrest, disappearance
and out-of-law execution.
- First lieutenant Augusto Gabilondo
Barco, head of the anti-subversive base of Huanta in
1984. His is
currently retired with the grade of Frigate Captain.
Officer Román Manuel Martinez Heredia,
who received Ayala Sulca at the barracks door and who,
once he consulted with his superiors, made him come into
base. This officer has not been found and has been declared
a fugitive. After he incurred in destination abandonment,
he was removed due to disciplinary measure by Ministry
issued on March 14, 1986.
- We must also identify and determine
the criminal responsibility of the Peruvian Navy officer
known by the name of Lynx,
who spoke with Ayala Sulca and authorized his entrance
to the Navy
- Likewise, we still must identify and determine
the criminal responsibility of a Peruvian Navy officer
known by the
name of Josaca, who presumably was in charge of the
Álvaro Artaza Adrianzén’s Legal Situation
In the criminal trial opened against him for the crime of
abduction of Jaime Ayala Sulca, Alvaro Artazar Adrianzén
has not been found and has been declared fugitive. The file
is under reserve in Ayacucho’s Superior Court.
However, Artaza Adrianzén is said of having presumably
died, as a consequence of an alleged abduction on February
2nd 1986. The news appeared published on September 15th 1989
in El Peruano, the official gazette. It was a judicial notice
on presumed death declaration requested before the 22nd Civil
Court of Lima by the Public Prosecutor of the Ministry of Defense
in charge of Special Affairs concerning Peru’s Navy.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission declares there is
sufficient evidence to request revision of the judicial decision
declaring Alvaro Artaza Adrianzén presumably dead and
demands the use of all legal means possible to clarify the
situation of who is presumably liable for facts that can not
be left unpunished.
The Pucayacu Burials
On August 22nd 1984, four burials were discovered in the area
of Pucayacu, Marcas district, Acobamba province, Huancavelica
department, containing fifty corpses in an advanced state of
decomposition. The corpse has no clothes and could not be recognized.
Many of them had the hands tied and most showed bullet wounds
in the head and other lesions produced by sharp instruments.
In some cases torture traces could be observed.
According to necropsy, all the bodies were naked, 40 were
blind folded and/or the hands tied, 15 of the victims died
due to cranial traumatism, thoracic traumatism, strangling
and wounds made with a sharp instrument, while 35 of them died
from bullet wounds in the head and neck.
All the bullet wounds were in the head and had a similar path,
from the back to the front and from the bottom to the top,
by the back of the head. Additionally, 19 of the bodies showed
traces of tortures. Out of the 50 bodies found in the burials,
only one was identified by the family. It is Nemesio Fernandez
When the corpses were exhumed, 16 bullet cases and some personal
objects were found around the burial. Among this, there was
the military card of Cirilo Barboza Sánchez, who according
to witnesses had been arrested one week before the burials
were found by policemen from Luricocha and transferred to the
Navy base in Huanta.
On October 12th 1984, Huanta´s Provisional First Instance
Judge Juan Flores Rojas, opened an investigation against Corvette
Captain Alvaro Artaza Adrianzén for the crime of homicide
against 15 unidentified persons found in the Pucayacu burials.
At the same time, another trial was opened in the Military
Court. The next day after the civil trial started, the Permanent
War Council of the Navy President filed a dispute of competency
to request the case be seen by the Military Court.
On April 10th 1985, the Second Criminal Court of the Supreme
Court, resolved the dispute of competency favoring the Military
Court and ordered that all that had been acted concerning the
case be remitted to the Navy’s Permanent War Council.
That sentence, as well as that produced in the Callqui case
was a notorious distortion of justice.
The Supreme Council of Military Justice decided the cause
dismissal due to lack of proofs. Based upon the evidence gathered,
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission argues that the Pucayacu
victims did not die in battle but, on the contrary, were executed
out-of-law. There is sufficient evidence, according to the
Commission, to attribute responsibility for these extremely
serious actions to the following personnel from the Navy assigned
to the Huanta Military base:
- Frigate Captain Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano, political-military
chief of the Huanta and La Mar provinces during 1984. Currently
retired with the grade of rear admiral.
- Corvette Captain
Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén.
Liutenant Augusto Gabilondo García del Barco.
We must also inform that in the report submitted to the Attorney
General, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission documents
58 cases of forced disappearance during that same period presumably
attributable to the Navy’s marines.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Today we have summarized cases that have shaken the country’s
conscience for a long time and we have done so with a justified
expectation that justice will be made. Therefore, I want to
inform to you that in our report to the Attorney General regarding
these facts, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommends
the Public Prosecutor to proceed in the briefest term possible
1. Filing criminal claim against Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano,
Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén, Augusto Gabilondo
Garcia del Barco, Luis Alberto Celis Checa, Jesús Vilca
Huincho and the 18 members of the military patrol for presumed
homicide foreseen in article 152 of the Criminal Code of 1924
against Paulino Cayo Ccoriñaupa, Jorge De la Cruz Quispe,
Melquiades Quispe Rojas, José Yañez Huincho,
Wenceslao Huamanyalli Oré and Constantino Yañez
Huincho, community members of Callqui and Nisperosniyocc.
2. Filing expanded criminal case against Augusto Gabilondo
del Barco for presumed abduction and homicide foreseen in articles
223 and 152 of the Criminal Code of 1924, respectively, against
Jaime Ayala Sulca. The expanded criminal case must refer to
file N° 14-85 that was submitted to Huamanga’s ad
hoc Examination Court and which is currently under reserve
in Ayacucho´s Superior Court archives.
3. Filing expanded criminal case against Alvaro Francisco
Serapio Artaza Adrianzén and Román Martínez
Heredia for presumed homicide foreseen in article 152 of the
Criminal Code of 1924 against Jaime Boris Ayala Sulca. The
expanded criminal case must refer to file 14-85 that was submitted
to Huamanga’s ad hoc Examination Court and which is currently
under reserve in Ayacucho´s Superior Court archives,
Court which is currently trying the accused for abduction.
4. Filing criminal claim against Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano,
Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén, Augusto Gabilondo
Garcia del Barco, Segundo Wilfredo Villena Vinces and Juan
José Vidal Sánchez, for homicide foreseen in
article 152 of the Criminal Code of 1924, as presumably responsible
for the out-of-law execution against Nemesio Fernandez Lapa
and 49 unidentified persons whose bodies were found in the
5. Filing criminal claim against Alberto Rivero Valdeavellano,
Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén, Augusto Gabilondo
Garcia del Barco, Segundo Wilfredo Villena Vinces and Juan
José Vidal Sánchez, for aggravated abduction
foreseen in article 223 of the Criminal Code of 1924, for having
kept 57 persons in prison who are now missing.
6. Filing criminal claim against Police Captain Jorge Cubas
Portugal, chief officer of the police station in Luricocha
and against police personnel under his command for abduction,
a crime foreseen in article 223 of the Criminal Code of 1924,
for having put Cirilo Barboza Sánchez, Alejandro Gutierrez
Taype and Erasmo Ochoa in prison, who are now missing.
7. Carrying out the necessary procedures so as to identify
other Navy and police personal who may have participated in
homicide against Nemesio Fernández Lapa and other 49
unidentified persons in the aggravated abduction of the 57
persons abducted between July and August 1984 and that are
8. Carrying out the exhumation of the bodies found in the
Pucayacu burial to determine the victims´ identity and
to deliver the bodies to their families.
9. Dictating the corresponding precautionary measures to ensure
appearance before the Court of the accused, taking into account
the seriousness of the fact investigated and the penalty foreseen
by law, as well as the existence of a clear procedural danger
circumstance, which makes it reasonably presumable that the
accused will attempt at evading justice.
10. Carrying out the necessary procedures so as to determine
the whereabouts of Alvaro Francisco Serapio Artaza Adrianzén
and proposing, in connection with him, recognition of presumed
death, as foreseen by article 67 of the Civil Court, since
there are reasonable indications that this person is alive.
11. Comprising in the investigation the magistrates and officials
of the military court who dictated the sentences concerning
the Callqui and Pucayacu cases by which the investigation was
caused, which implies a serious non compliance with their duties.
12. Requesting the Ministry of Defense to remit the list of
names as well as the personal identity information of the officers,
non-commissioned officers and troop detached to the Huanta
Navy base during July and August 1984, so as to establish the
corresponding responsibilities in the cases under investigation.
13. Applying protection measures in favour of the summoned
witnesses under identity reserve in our report. This mechanism
must ensure the protection of their identity and permit their
appearance in the trial to declare and participate in other
procedures during the investigation.
Ladies and gentlemen, people of Huanta:
By submitting this report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
has complied with its mission of cooperating with the jurisdictional
organs. Our findings do not determine immediate criminal liability
or condemn anybody in advance. It corresponds to justice to
make a statement on these facts and to do so proceeding in
a substantially different way from how it was proceeded more
than 15 years ago. It is always a pity to remember grave and
shameful facts that disturb the moral conscience of our homeland.
But we are still in time to make justice, which is different
from taking revenge. Reconciliation only will be possible -
we will say it once and again - when the victims’ voices
are listened to, when the perpetrators face their guilt judicially
and when our institutions recover damaged credibility. From
the rubble of this moral disaster, we are sure rejuvenated
nation shall reemerge and that we will be able to look ahead
to the future. This stadium, a place of injustice and horror,
must be from now on remembrance of what must never happen again,
a symbol of the need of justice in the present and a place
of hope and peace promises.
Thank you very much
Salomon Lerner Febres
Truth and Reconciliation Commission