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  Exhumations in Totos

Press Release Nº 108


The Joint Work Platform for the Investigation of Mass Graves, consisting of representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Human Rights National Coordinator, announced this morning that on Monday August 26 there will take place the second exhumation at the locality of Totos, province of Cangallo, department of Ayacucho.
According to the preliminary information of the Ombudsman’s Office, two mass graves have been identified: one in the area of Sanccaypata, supposedly containing the remains of 15 persons, and another one in the area of Ccarpaccsa, where presumably the remains of 4 persons were buried, disappeared between April and May, 1983.
During the press conference the participation of the following forensics experts was announced: Luis Fondebride, Argentinean, co-founder of the Argentinean Team of Forensic Anthropology in 1984, who has investigated massacres and trained forensic scientists in Guatemala, El Salvador, Kosovo, South Africa and the former Yugoslavia; Mercedes Salado, anthropologist from Guatemala, who has a broad expertise in forensic science and a well known prestige in Guatemala; and Isabel Reveco, expert in legal medicine and forensic anthropologist, team member of the Identification Unit of the Legal Medical Service of the Chilean Prosecutor’s Office, who have come to our country in order to support the technical teams from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will participate in this procedure.
This is the second process of exhumation since the Commission started its work, and as well as the former one in the locality of Chuschi, it is part of a work program coordinated with the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Human Rights National Coordinator.
At this conference participated Dr. Nelly Calderón, Prosecutor, Walter Albán, Ombudsman, Salomón Lerner Febres, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Francisco Soberón Garrido, executive secretary of the Human Rights National Coordinator and Felipe Villavicencio Terreros, Specialized Public Attorney for Forced Disappearances, and Extra-judicial Executions…. It is noteworthy that these four institutions issued a joint declaration on June 14th , where they stated their will to work together in the exhumations scheduled by the Prosecutor’s Office, and constituted a Joint Work Platform for the Investigation of Mass Graves.

Lima, August 22th, 2002

Joint Work Platform for the Investigation of Mass Graves