The Aftermath of the Shining Path; Memory, Violence, & Politics in Peru

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February 11, 2016
Hart Hall
UC Davis

On February 11th, the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas will hold an all-day conference on the Shining Path guerrilla movement in Peru. The event brings together renowned scholars, archivists, and journalists to discuss the vicious war that stretched from 1980 to 1992 and its aftermath. Led by Abimael Guzmán or Presidente Gonzalo, the Maoist Shining Path began in Ayacucho in the highlands and spread throughout much of the country. Both their tactics as well as the response by the Peruvian military were brutal, resulting in over 70,000 dead and hundreds of thousands force to flee. Indigenous peasants bore the brunt of this violence and displacement.

Building on the 2003 report of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, analysts have begun to piece together how this movement emerged and why the violence escalated. Recent memoirs, local analyses, and explorations in “memory studies” have enriched this process and fostered much debate. The conference features the authors of many of these key works.

The conflict still casts a long shadow on Peru and the nation remains divided. For example, many have have celebrated the recent inauguration of the commemoration site, the Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia y la Inclusión Social (The Place for Memory, Tolerance, and Social Inclusion), while others have demanded its closing. This conference seeks to contribute to the passionate discussions taking place in Peru and beyond about violence, memory, and justice.

Descripción

Este 11 de febrero, el Hemispheric Institute on the Americas (HIA) de la Universidad de California, Davis acogerá una conferencia sobre Sendero Luminoso en Perú. El evento permite que destacados investigadores, archiveros y periodistas discutan el conflicto que se desató entre 1980 y 1992 y su secuela. Dirigido por Abimael Guzmán (alias “Presidente Gonzalo), Sendero Luminoso inició su actividad en Ayacucho y de ahí se extendió a gran parte del territorio peruano. La brutalidad de sus tácticas como la respuesta de las Fuerzas Armadas tuvieron como resultado un saldo superior al de los 70,000 víctimas y cientos de miles de personas se convirtieron en desplazados. La población andina soportó la mayor parte de esta violencia y migración forzosa.

Basándose en el Informe Final de la Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación (2003), los analistas han comenzado a reconstruir la trayectoria no solo del movimiento terrorista sino de cómo la violencia escaló hasta llegar a límites nunca antes vistos. Auto-biografías recientes, estudios locales y nuevas exploraciones alrededor de los estudios de memoria han enriquecido este proceso y promovido un debate necesario. La presente conferencia reúne a los autores de dichos estudios.

El conflicto aún permanece proyectando una sombra en Perú y la nación continúa dividida alrededor del mismo. Por ejemplo, muchos han celebrado la reciente inauguración del Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia y la Inclusión Social (LUM) en Lima mientras otros piden que sea clausurado. Esta conferencia busca contribuir a estos debates apasionados que ocurren en Perú y otras partes sobre temas relacionados con la violencia, la memoria y la justicia.

 

The event features prominent specialists including:

Gustavo Gorriti, an investigative journalist whose work on the Shining Path, drug trafficking, and corruption have earned him honors which include a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University; the Maria Moors Cabot Prize of Columbia University; and the International Press Freedom Award of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

Lurgio Gavilán, whose recently published memoirs, When Rains Became Floods (Memorias de un soldado desconocido), retells his fascinating life as a child soldier for the Shining Path. Subsequently, he became a soldier, a Franciscan priest, and anthropologist. When Rains Became Floods (Duke University Press) is currently being made into a movie.

José Carlos Agüero S., recently published Los rendidos, which explores his childhood as the son of two Shining Path members, both killed. It has been very well received in Peru, prompting broad discussions about the period, memory, and tolerance. Available as an ebook: http://www.iep.org.pe/los_rendidos__una_reflexion_sobre_el_dolor__la_culpa_y_el_perdon.html

Ruth Borja Santa Cruz, the former director of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Archive, she is also a professor of history at San Marcos University. She has conducted extensive research in Ayacucho.

Ricardo Caro Cárdenas, a researcher at the Catholic University in Lima, Caro has published widely on the Shining Path, particularly in the Huancavelica region. He edited the 2014 dossier published by IFEA, Los Claroscuros del Conflicto Armado y sus representaciones en Perú.

Renzo Aroni, a Ph.D. student in history at UC Davis, Aroni has written on violence and its aftermath in Peru. He is coauthor of No hay mañana sin ayer. Batallas por la memoria y consolidación democrática en el Perú and De Víctimas a Ciudadanos: Memorias de la Violencia Política en Comunidades de la Cuenca del Río Pampas.

Gustavo Gorriti’s 3 p.m. keynote address, “Ultra Capitalists and Crypto-Communists: Drug Trafficking and the Shining Path since the 1990s” will be in English. The other presentations will be in Spanish with discussion in English and Spanish.
The event program includes the following topics:

Local Perspectives: Community & the Post-Conflict Process in Peru
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Ruth Borja, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Spanish)
Ricardo Caro, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Spanish)
Moderated by Stefano Varese, UC Davis

From Inside and Outside: Testimonies & Autobiographies of Exceptional Lives
11:15 AM – 1:00 PM

Jose Carlos Agüero, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (Spanish)
Lurgio Gavilán, Universidad Iberoamericana (Spanish)
Renzo Aroni, UC Davis (Spanish)
Moderated by Zoila Mendoza, UC Davis

Keynote Address
Ultra-Capitalists and Crypto-Communists: Drug Trafficking and the Shining Path since the 1990s
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Lecture by Gustavo Gorriti, IDL (English)
Introduced by Chuck Walker, UC Davis
This conference is open to the public.
Please note that some presentations will be in Spanish.
For more information, visit: http://hia.ucdavis.edu/
Contact Name: Lynn Park
Contact Phone: 530-752-3046

The Hemispheric Institute on the Americas greatly appreciates the generous support for this conference from:
• Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas
• Department of Spanish and Portuguese
• Davis Humanities Institute
• Human Rights Studies Program
• Institute for Social Sciences
• Native American Studies Department
• Department of History
• Department of Political Science

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