“I started praying by her bed, and suddenly I felt like a hit on my neck.
And nothing else.” That was the same night that Grupo Colina, a death squad acting on behalf of then-President Alberto Fujimori, abducted nine students and one professor from La Cantuta on allegations that they were affiliated with armed groups. After torturing and executing the victims, the death squad buried their bodies.
They searched for weeks, but the only response they got from the government came five months later in a letter stating that her sister “didn’t exist.” “It was very painful to read that in a document written by the government,” she explained.
Most of Shining Path’s leaders were in prison by then, but no government officials or agents had been convicted due to an amnesty law passed by president Alberto Fujimori in 1995, protecting them for the crimes committed since 1980.
“I started looking at pictures of Dora last night, and I couldn’t sleep,” she said.
She arrived at 6 in the morning with other relatives of victims at Campo de Marte, the park where the Eye that Cries stands, to set up the “altar”–rows of dozens of black and white photographs of those killed and disappeared taped to sticks and stuck into the lawn near the sculpture. It shows a woman with frizzy black hair and a somber expression that made her look older than 21.
Víctor Cubas is the prosecutor who coordinates all human rights cases, and he admits that his work has been slowed.
According to a study conducted by Jo-Marie Burt, a political science professor at George Mason University in the United States, the Peruvian judiciary has since 2006 issued 50 verdicts on human rights violations committed by government agents during the conflict.