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  Exhumations in Totos

Press Release Nº 119

During a civic ceremony with Andean rituals,

Today, Friday, September 6, the Joint Commission on the Investigation of Mass Graves, made up of the Public Ministry, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, The Ombudsman of Peru and the National Human Rights Coordinator will deliver the remains recovered during the exhumation of graves at Sancaypata and Ccarpacassa, located in Totos, in the province of Cangallo, in the department of Ayacucho.
The commissioners Sofía Macher, Humberto Lay, and Monsignor José Antúnez de Mayolo, have come from the city of Huamanga to participate in this act along with the commissioner Alberto Morote who has been following this issue since last August 26.
The act will take place at 3 in the afternoon at the Public Ministry in the city of Huamanga (Asamblea Avenue, block 1) and will be officiated by commissioners Humberto Lay, pastor of the Assembly of God (National Evangelical Council of Peru) and Monsignor José Antúnez de Mayolo, who was the apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Ayacucho. They will be accompanied by the Special Prosecutor for Unresolved Abductions, Extrajudicial Executions and Exhumations of Mass Graves, Felipe Villavicencio; the special prosecutor for Unresolved Abductions in Ayacucho, Ana Isabel Barreda; representative of the Ombudsman’s Office in Ayacucho, Rocío Vargas and representatives of the National Human Rights Coordinator.
Afterward, the families of the victims have planned a procession around the town square. They will be accompanied by local authorities and townspeople who will join in this act to express their solidarity with the victims and their families. A vigil over the recovered remains will be held at the benevolent society’s headquarters (“beneficiencia”) in Huamanga. On Saturday they will be taken by the families to their communities in Totos and Quispillacta.
Last August 26 the exhumation of mass graves was begun at Sancaypata and Ccarpacassa, in Totos, Cangallo province, in the department of Ayacucho. After the exhumation, which took three days, the work of analyzing and identifying the remains was done in six days. Later, relatives of the victims collaborated in identifying clothing found with the bones. After almost two weeks of work, the team of experts and technicians of the Joint Commission on the Investigation of Mass Graves will turn over the remains to the victims’ families.

Lima, September 6, 2002

Communications and Public Impact Office