30 August 2016

In Latin America, people disappear but crimes remain

Al Jazeera English

Back in 2012, in the southern Peruvian city of Ayacucho - birthplace of the Maoist guerrilla outfit Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) - I found myself carrying a small white coffin containing the remains of a man named Alejandro Aguilar.
As I recounted at the time in a blog post for the London Review of Books, Aguilar had been an itinerant wool trader and was one of the victims of a 1984 guerrilla massacre of more than 100 Peruvians.
Twenty-eight years later, his remains had been exhumed from a mass grave and were being returned to his wife and other family members, who had travelled to Ayacucho by bus from their village more than 700 km away.
I happened to be standing nearby when a hand was needed with the coffin, and thus paid my first and last respects to Aguilar before he was loaded back on to the bus for his final journey home.
There were copious tears from the family, but they assured me they were grateful to have closure at long last. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.