The Commission’s report released on Thursday reveals far more loss of civilian life than previously thought, with earlier estimates suggesting figures of between 40,000 to 50,000.
No matter what the precise figure, Peru’s civil war ranks among the bloodiest in South America, says commissioner Gasten Garatea.
Nine volumes of evidence and testimony were used to study two decades of warfare between Shining Path guerrillas and the government. Both sides often claimed civilian victims.
When Peru’s truth commission ends its work on Thursday, it will be the last one in South America to attempt shedding light on the violent conflicts that swept the region during the Cold War.
The two decade period covered spans three presidencies, with the report’s release leading to political and military establishments bracing themselves for a backlash.
During those years, presidents Fernando Belaunde (1980-1985), Alan Garcia (1985-1990) and Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) were in power. Two are still politically active.
Garcia narrowly lost the 2001 presidential election. Fujimori, exiled in Japan, is considering a comeback – but that could change, depending on the report.
The Commission also names a hundred military officers whom it says committed serious human rights violations, Garatea told reporters after confirming the 75,000 toll.
However, information on the officers will not be made public immediately because the names will be delivered to prosecutors.