Angelica Cusi Diaz cries over the coffin that contains the remains of her daughter Lucia Cuadros, who was pregnant when slain three decades ago, in a forensic laboratory in Huamanga, Peru, on Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This week, hundreds of families from remote mountains and jungle valleys arrived in Ayacucho state in Peru to collect the exhumed remains of lost victims of Peru’s decades-old “dirty war.”
The victims were lost during the country’s bloody internal conflict from 1980 to 2000 between state security forces and the Maoist guerrilla group called the Shining Path. The conflict caused the deaths of 69,000 people, according a 2003 report by a government-appointed truth commission.
Forensic teams began exhuming the bodies in 2006, and officials claim to have recovered 2,925 sets of remains and identified 1,689. The process has brought up decades old wounds. José Pablo Baraybar, executive director of the Peruvian Team for Forensic Anthropology, told the New York Times in 2012: “We are at this moment in a fight over what to remember and how to remember.”
Of the 80 sets of remains, 51 were victims of the Shining Path and 29 of the security forces. The BBC reported the remains were mostly adult men and women, two of whom were pregnant. The remains were presented in white coffins.
Relatives in front of the coffin containing the remains of Pastor Huicho Cassani during a ceremony in Huamanga, Peru, on Oct. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) A model of a skeleton hangs on a stand in a forensic laboratory surrounded by coffins containing the exhumed remains of people slain in Peru during its dirty war. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) Dionisia Huamani Quispe, left center, and Eusebia Palomino Arome, right center, watch forensic anthropologists arrange the remains of their relatives. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) A boy lights a candle before a mass with the coffins. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) Father Francisco Chamberlain standing among the coffins. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) Relatives of dirty war victims hold coffins with the remains of their loved ones. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) Students stand before a row of coffins. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) A student carries a coffin. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) A procession of the coffins. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This story has been updated, the dirty war happened from 1980-2000 not 1990.