REPORT BY COMISEDH
(HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION)
FOR THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
THE MASSACRE BY SENDERO LUMINOSO ON APRIL
1983 IN SANTIAGO DE LUCANAMARCA: BACKGROUND, FACTS, VICTIMS,
I. The district of Santiago de Lucanamarca
The district of Santiago de Lucanamarca, initially part of
the province of Víctor Fajardo, was created on January
29, 1965, by Law No. 15410.
Santiago de Lucanamarca is the capital of the district, which
also includes: San José de Huarcaya, San Antonio de
Julo, Santa Rosa de Ccocha, La Merced de Tío, Asunción
de Erpa and San Martín de Tíopampa.
Later on, the province of Huancasancos was created, and included
the districts of Sacsamarca, Carapo, Santiago de Lucanamarca
and Sancos. Huancasancos is the capital of the province of
Lucanamarca is essentially a ranching community (sheep and
cattle), with little farmland because of its difficult terrain.
In spite of that, the locals have been able to use some of
the land for farming by using a terrace system, which is
a scenic part of the landscape there.
According to the national institute of statistics (INEI),
the population counted in the 1993 census was 10,213, of
4,842 were men and 5,371 women. In the district of Sancos,
the population was 3,155; in Carapo, 2,624; Sacsamarca 1,905
and in Santiago de Lucanamarca, 2,529.
According to the census of 1996, the population was 10,591
of which 54.7% was the rural population. The population estimated
for the year 2000 according to INEI was 10,816.
II. Brief summary of the violence in the province of Huancasancos.
The operations of Sendero Luminoso in the area started in
the seventies. They were essentially the work of teachers
Andes” school, who taught young people in the area. Some
sectors of the population supported this organization at first.
However, it can’t be said that this was an extensive
program aimed at the large rural sector. In its most intense
phase, the war in the province of Huancasancos was short: it
took place around the end of 1982, and during the years 1983
and 1984. The massacres were in retaliation for the local uprising
against the domination and abuse by Sendero Luminoso. Starting
in March, 1983 a group of police, known as “sinchis”,
were based in Sancos. They too committed murders and abusive
acts against the local people. Many people in the area,
especially young people, were murdered by these agents,
and their bodies
were found buried in numerous graves around that area.
Later, there were more attacks by SL which were fended
off by the
local people and the police. Finally, the last act related
to the period of violence was on June 19, 1992, when a
column of terrorists ambushed a vehicle carrying all the
of the province, the head of the military there, and 11
soldiers, at a place called Huachhuaqasa. All of the occupants
vehicle were killed.
III. Background: oppression by Sendero
Luminoso and rural rebellion.
Starting in 1982, SL dominated in the province of Huancasancos.
The local authorities were replaced by Sendero authorities
and “the government of the people” was established.
In May of 1982, Juan López Liceras (comrade "Víctor")
assumed the military and political authority in the “liberated” area
of Huancasancos. López Liceras was a teacher at the “Los
Andes” school. Previously, the terrorists had worked
for several years forming cadres of “people’s schools” on
the outskirts of the town. However, starting in May, 1982,
their activities were more out in the open. After the installation
of the “new government” in Huancasancos, the terrorists
under López Liceras started a “liberating” and “consciousness-raising” tour
around the towns near Huancasancos.
Toward the end of 1982, in the month of October, the terrorists
started murdering the biggest property owners in the area,
those considered to be wealthy, or “gamonalillos” in
their language. One of the first to be killed was Mr. Alejandro
Marquina Martínez. After the murder of Marquina,
which took place in the town square of Huancasancos, his
cattle were divided among the local people. Even those
who didn’t agree with the ideas of Sendero Luminoso
had to accept these “gifts” or risk being considered
informers or traitors to the cause.
In January of 1983,
the mayor of Huancasancos, Mr. Aquiles Sumari, was relieved
of his duties and Juan López Liceras
(comrade "Víctor") took over the town
hall from where he governed with a “people’s
His first decision was to confiscate the community farm
of Huancasancos and distribute the cattle among the population
of neighboring communities.
On Sunday, February 15, 1983,
the people of Huancasancos were preparing for their annual
carnival, a deeply-rooted
in the Andes. Comrade "Víctor" authorized
and presided over the celebration. The next day, the 16
of February, the population of Sacsamarca rose up against
Two Sendero leaders were captured and killed. Two others
managed to escape to Sancos and notify the terrorists there.
The people of Sacsamarca, anticipating an attack by Sendero,
managed to send a representative to Huancapi to inform
the Army. That same afternoon of February 16, SL attacked
entering the town and taking 30 residents to Huancasancos.
The next day, the 17 of February, a “people’s
held. All 30 prisoners were sentenced to death. Half of
them were condemned to be shot to death, and the others baked
the oven of the Nazario Alvarado bakery in Huancasancos.
When those sentenced to be baked to death were already in the
3 military helicopters arrived and the terrorists fled.
The “sinchis” arriving
in the helicopters disembarked shooting, freeing the prisoners
but killing 6 innocent people.
The following day, the "sinchis" ordered
the burial of the dead and named new authorities in Sacsamarca:
Sumari and Honorio Martínez. The new authorities
requested weapons to defend themselves against the subversives,
request wasn’t granted.
On February 20, the people
of Huancasancos met in the town square and held a ceremony
to express their loyalty to
Peru, singing the national anthem and pledging allegiance
Peruvian flag. Later, Juan López Liceras and other
terrorists arrived armed with guns and dynamite. Apparently,
arriving from the mountain heights where they had been
killing off cattle. They surrounded the people who were
in the town
square. The townspeople initiated the attack, using rocks
and sticks. The furious crowd killed several terrorists
others, who fled. Several townspeople were injured. López
Liceras was pursued to a house, where he was captured and
dragged to the town square. Then the women of the town
took over, literally
beating him to death.
IV. The process in Lucanamarca
In Lucanamarca, Sendero Luminoso had started their operations
early on. The locals say that around the end of the seventies,
professors and students from the University of Huamanga entered
the area doing political work. In 1982, comrades Omar (from
Hualla) and Carla, who was apparently from the coast, came “officially” to
start the war, holding a meeting with the community and appointing
several local representatives. Those named were mostly young
people, such as brothers Alfredo and Efraín Huaripaucar,
who were from Huarcaya, brothers Olegario, Nicanor and Gilber
Curitomay Huancahuari, Octavio and Froylán Ruiz, Walter
and Zenón Allaucca from Lucanamarca, and Jorge Sumari
de Erpa, among others.
Between September, 1982 and February,
1983, the people of Lucanamarca were the victims of several
terrorist acts by
SL. They killed
at least 7 people, among them: Abraham Huamaccto Quispe (20),
on September 26, 1982 in Tiopampa; on January 18, 1983, Román
Misaico Quichua (25) was murdered in la Merced de Tío;
On January 30, 1983, Pascual Leonardo Misaico Aronés
(57) from Lucanamarca and Rufino Huaripaucar Allccahuamán
(26) from Ccocha were killed; on February 17, Eulogia Flores
de Huancahuari (69), her son-in-law, Teófilo Mavila
Riveros (29) and Marciano Huancahuari Allaucca (74) were
murdered in the town square of Lucanamarca. Marciano Huancahuari
one of the community members who had the most property and
cattle. Mr. Huancahuari had problems with the Curitomay brothers
(Olegario, Nicario and Gilber), because of pending litigation
with them over a piece of family property. They were relatives
on the Curitomays’ mother’s side. The locals
say that Mr. Huancahuari had paid protection money to SL
wouldn’t be bothered; however, in the end he was pressured
to give up his land and cattle in benefit of the people.
Since he didn’t want to “donate” his goods,
Olegario ordered his murder. Lastly, on February 24, 1983
murdered Manuel Fulgencio Casavilca Quichua (72) in Lucanamarca.
Starting in December, 1982 SL acted freely in Lucanamarca,
holding meetings in the plazas and winning some people over
with the distribution of the goods “donated” or
confiscated. Discontent grew among the population. The death
of Mr. Marciano Huancahuari caused consternation among them.
His property was distributed among those sympathetic to SL.
Lucanamarca and its annexes are cattle ranching communities.
Part of the cattle belonged to the community collectively.
The proceeds from the sale of these cattle was used, as it
still is now, for public works, such as fixing up the church,
the highway between Lucanamarca and Huancasancos, and other
Sendero Luminoso had imposed restrictions on the
population: they didn’t allow free trade, nor travel
to places outside the district jurisdiction, especially toward
the coast. These
restrictions hurt them financially, especially the ranchers
who were used to selling their cattle on the coast. Likewise,
they saw how their herds were diminishing due to SL raids.
This, in addition to the destitution and replacement of
their local authorities, the threats and coercion with which
Sendero “governed” the
area, was a hopeless situation for the community members.
Because of these excesses and the systematic confiscation
of their goods, the authorities of Lucanamarca organized
the Defense Committee of Lucanamarca with the principal
purpose of providing security.
The cattle of the community
ranch were often rustled by Olegario Curitomay himself, and
his henchmen, Agustín Callañaupa
and Zenón Allaucca. Olegario was also one of the
biggest cattle sellers in Lucanamarca; but obviously,
rules didn’t apply to him, so he had commercial
Olegario Curitomay was already a fugitive
in those days. After the uprising of Sacsamarca and Huancasancos,
the “sinchis” had
carried out several operations in the Lucanamarca area.
On February 23, a Sendero Luminoso group entered the
town, with the purpose of settling the score with the
and the members of the Defense Committee of Lucanamarca.
The terrorists called a town meeting, told the women
of the town
to prepare food in the town square, and sent messengers
to the homes of the people on their list to invite them
meeting. They didn’t go to the meeting because
they supposed that SL was looking for them to kill them.
Some of the townspeople
alerted the “sinchis” in Huancasancos; the
police arrived unexpectedly in Lucanamarca, and there
was a battle
in an area called Yunkawaycco, in which several young
terrorists were killed: Glorinda Calderón, 19,
Reynaldo Huaripaucar Quincho, 15, and Antenor Ruiz Curitomay,
14, among others,
all students of “Los Andes” School. The latter
two young men were from Lucanamarca and the young woman
In the first part of March, 1983,
the community members from Huarcaya ambushed terrorists
Alfredo and Efraín Huaripaucar,
whom they killed along with 5 other members of SL.
March 10, there was a “summit meeting” among
the authorities of the districts of Sacsamarca, Huancasancos
and Lucanamarca, in which they agreed to confront Sendero.
This motivated the local authorities of Lucanamarca to
start preparing for the capture of Olegario Curitomay.
The authorities of Lucanamarca convinced Baldomero Curitomay
to tell them where Olegario was hiding out, since he
leave the district because he didn’t have his identification
documents with him. Olegario was captured by the authorities
on March 27, 1983 and taken to the town square, where
he was beaten, shot and finally burned. His remains were
the town. Before and after the death of Olegario, several
members (at least 6 people) from the SL base in the area
same fate as Olegario.
The authorities expected retaliation
by Sendero, whose threat had already been made evident;
threats had been
that nothing would be left of Lucanamarca. They decided
a Commission, led by Mr. Teófanes Allccahuamán,
to Huancapi to request military backup.
arrived in Huancapi and was sent immediately in a military
convoy to the Cabitos base in Haumanga.
There they talked to General Noel, who sent them back
soldiers. On April 3, the committee was on the way
When the troops arrived in Lucanamarca at noon
on April 4, the massacre had already occurred.
of Lucanamarca, following the same logic as that of the people
of Sacsamarca and Sancos,
rebelled against SL, tired of the abuse, of not being
able to travel freely,
having their property taken away from them to
be redistributed, of their people being murdered. This provoked
by SL against the population of Lucanamarca.
V. The occurrence of April 3, 1983: The massacre of Lucanamarca
The SL massacre was planned by the central leadership
of the terrorist group, according to Abimael Guzmán
himself in the so-called “Interview of the Century”1.
Following are some excerpts from that interview: “Around
the end of 82 the armed forces arrived (...) forming
bands and using
masses of people under pressure on the front line, as a parapet...Faced
with the use of bands and the reactionary military action,
we responded with an action: Lucanamarca, neither they nor
we have forgotten, because there they saw a reaction they
imagine; there, more than 80 people were annihilated, that
is reality (...) it was the Central Leadership itself that
planned the action and arranged things, that’s how
For that purpose, Sendero leaders from different
parts of Ayacucho had been called. The information gathered
southern part of the department of Ayacucho confirms that
SL leaders from different communities of the provinces of
Fajardo and Cangallo participated.
The action started in
the highlands of Yanaccollpa where a contingent of an estimated
80-100 Sendero members and rural
people that had been taken by SL from other places had arrived
from the highlands of Vilcanchos. Several witnesses say that
some members of Sendero were dressed in green uniforms, similar
to military uniforms, and the rest wore civilian clothes,
some wore ski masks. Most of them were armed with machetes,
axes and knives, and others carried guns. Sendero travelled
in groups of 30-35 people.
In Yanaccollpa, at about 6 in
the morning, the people from neighboring ranches gathered
at the home of Antonio Quincho,
where there was supposed to be a meeting. The meeting was
never held; 29 people, among them elderly people, women and
were hacked to death with hatchets and machetes.
terrorists continued on their route and headed toward
the community farm at Ataccara, where they arrived between
8 and 9 a.m. approximately and murdered 3 people, among them
Afterward, they headed toward the Llacchua ranch,
where they arrived at about 11 in the morning and killed
8 people, among
them 5 minors. In Llacchua, the terrorists learned that community
members were working on a community project, repairing the
highway between Lucanamarca and Huancasancos; and they headed
there, taking Mr. Darío Allaucca Chaupín with
them as a guide.
The community members had started the work
in Huancasancos and were advancing toward Lucanamarca. At
about 12 noon,
the workers (about 60) were resting after having lunch at
called Toromachay. At that moment, a messenger on horseback
arrived from the highlands of Ataccara to warn them of a
supposed attack by SL on the community’s cattle. The
messenger, Mr. Elías Tacas, didn’t know anything
about the deaths.
The community members organized and decided
to send a group, which volunteered as lookouts, to the mountain
see what SL was up to. Most of them were young and willing
running into Sendero. The messenger from the highlands was
also among them.
Another bigger group decided to return to
Lucanamarca to prepare their provisions and warm clothing,
since they planned
to the highlands to pursue Sendero. Also, 3 others left for
Huancasancos to inform the “sinchis”; one of
those people was Timoteo Huaripaucar.
In the end, the group
that was going to the highlands to see what Sendero was doing
met up with the terrorists at
where they were killed by the terrorists. At this place,
there were three people who escaped death: one was passing
a man from Huancasancos who was on his way to his ranch when
he was captured and robbed of his horses by the terrorists.
He says that he managed to escape because he argued that
he had nothing to do with the people from Lucanamarca. The
two who were saved were Mr. Cirilo Curitomay, an uncle of
local SL leaders, and their brother, Baldomero Curitomay.
At about 4 in the afternoon, a group of approximately
32 SL members entered the town of Lucanamarca; the rest
They were under the command of a teacher who had previously
done political work in the area. The townspeople sustain
that, without seeing his face because it was covered by a
they recognized his voice, his size, because he was tall,
the shape of his nose outlined under the mask, and his shape.
The townspeople had time to escape; however, they decided
to face the terrorists and defend their homes which they
would be burned. They waited for Sendero on a hill called
Calvary, armed with sticks and slingshots; however, the fight
because Sendero started shooting guns. The locals fled downhill,
but many were killed instantly and others were caught and
taken to the town square. In front of the church, in the
of women and children gathered there, the bloody ritual was
carried out, resulting in the deaths of 18 people.
say that as the terrorists entered the town, they shouted: “Death
to informers and traitors” and “Let
the traitors pay”.
The local people still remember
the young man who saved the lives of the women and children
present. He was behind the
bell tower of the church, and when he saw that after killing
the men, the terrorists were getting ready to kill the women
and children, the young man yelled that the “sinchis” were
very near the town. The terrorists dropped the dynamite with
which they were going to blow up the women, and decided to
leave, but not without leaving the city hall and community
center in flames.
The "sinchis" arrived an hour
after the terrorists had left the town; they were under the
command of a lieutenant.
The townspeople gave them food so that they could pursue
the terrorists. However, they didn’t do it; they returned
The next day, General Noel arrived by helicopter,
took the injured to Ayacucho and left a detachment of soldiers
comb the area.
VI. The victims
In reality, the exact number of victims of the massacre
known for certain. There was never an investigation to clarify
these facts. Estimates ranged from 69 to 82 local people
killed. The authorities had a list of 82 people, including
died in occurrences before and after April 3.
We were able
to match information existing in documents that are
in the hands of the former authorities, in what was
Registry of Marital Status, now RENIEC (death certificates),
from the families themselves whose testimonies and documents
of the victims were obtained by COMISEDH last July and
the week of October 1-9, as well as diverse journalistic
from that period, which result in a total of 69 people
killed.2 This data has been confirmed through personal
with all the relatives of the victims who died, as well
as a visit
together with them to the places where the bodies are buried
in graves and cemeteries.
VII. The graves
The victims were buried at the same places they died and cemeteries
in the area. The graves are located in areas over 4000 feet
above sea level. The victims were placed in mass graves,
as well as some individual graves.
VIII. The inscription of the deaths in the Public Registry
After the SL massacre, the municipal authorities of Lucanamarca
officially requested authorization from the Superior Court
of Justice of Ayacucho to bury the bodies of the victims.
Apparently (no documents exist), the Court gave the Justice
of the Peace special authorization to certify the deaths
and order the burial of the bodies, which was done during
the days following the massacre: April 4, 5 and 6, 1983.
Although, the Justice of the Peace had ordered that the
bodies be buried in the places where the victims had
died, some people
buried their relatives in their community cemeteries. Afterward,
on April 28, the Justice of the Peace sent an official
letter (Of. No. 10-83-JPSL) to the Mayor of Lucanamarca, with
list of the dead, duly identified with their identification
for the purpose of registering their deaths in the public
records. The Mayor ordered the inscription of the deaths
in the public
records the same day he received the official communication.
However, a review of the death certificates showed that
some had been prepared prior to the official communication
the Justice of the Peace.
In another document, dated May 6, 1983, the President of
the Superior Court of Justice was just responding officially
the Mayor of Lucanamarca, telling him that soon he would
be sending the authorization to proceed with the inscription
the deaths of the victims killed on April 3. The secretary
of the Public Records Office says that the authorization
never arrived; which leads to the deduction that the
inscription of the death of the 69 people was done informally,
establishing the causes of death.
IX. The witnesses and survivors of the event
Several people were witnesses to the events
in the different places where they occurred. We were able to
majority of these witnesses, who have given us a very clear
idea of what happened in Lucanamarca on April 3, 1983.
lista de testigos y sobrevivientes
X. What happened in Lucanamarca after the
The local people
killed the parents of Olegario Curitomay the day after the
massacre, on the morning
of April 4. His mother,
María de la O Allaucca Tacas was hanged at City Hall,
and his father was hacked to death with an ax in the Town
Some time after the massacre, a “sinchi” base
was established right in the town of Lucanamarca. The townspeople
thought their nightmares were over at last, but the abuse
After the SL massacre, it was the "sinchis" who
stole, raped the women and killed many people. The community
them a new building to use as their main base. When they
left, the building was in shambles. The people say that
police were drunk, everyone hid in their houses because
the policemen fired their guns indiscriminately. During
these “parties”, the police shot the town generator
which had recently been donated in 1983. They were never
able to repair it. The townspeople now ask who will pay
this damage. Sendero also caused a lot of material damage,
such as the burning of the City Hall building, the community
center, and other destruction.
Later, Sendero attacked
different communities of Huancasancos several times:
on May 21, 1983, SL attacked Sacsamarca
and was repelled by the community members and the "sinchis".
Two “sinchis” and several locals died; but
Sendero suffered many losses. Even “comrade Omar” and
other important SL leaders were killed by the "sinchis".
In January of 1984, Ms. Dominga Sumari was killed on
one of the roads leading to Huancasancos. Later, SL entered
de Tiopampa on June 12, 1984, killing a person there.
Huancasancos itself was attacked again on June 23, 1984.
tried to defend the town. Two "sinchis" were
killed in the attack, and while the other police were
the terrorists, a group of terrorists conducted a house-to-house
search for 14 people and killed them. Once more, Lucanamarca
was attacked on July 30, 1984. SL attacked San Martín
de Tiopampa, which pertains to Lucanamarca, and killed
7 local authorities.
On August 13, 1984, Mr. Germán
Huaripaucar Rimachi was killed by “sinchi” Juan
Carlos Chacón Palomino
in the town square of Lucanamarca. In December of 1984,
3 local authorities of Lucanamarca disappeared from
the Pampa Cangallo
base: Mr. Teodro Huancahuari Matías (Justice
of the Peace and President of the Community), Mauro
(Lt. Mayor) and Ernesto Contreras Pianto (member of
the Community Council). These people, together with
included in a police investigation because of an accusation
Mr. Gumercindo Huancahuari, son of Mr. Marciano Huancahuari,
whom SL had killed in Lucanamarca.
On March 8, 1995
the teacher Arístides Allaucca García
died in unusual circumstances. He was found on the
On February 12, 1989 Mr. Conrado Callañaupa
Casavilca was murdered by unknown assassins. On
December 14 of the same
year, Mr. Santos Huamanculí Huaripaucar
and Mr. Edilberto Alca Tacas were killed violently
the highlands of ChaupiQocha.
On March 14, 1992
Ms. Baselisa Huancahuari Morales was killed in
Lucanamarca. The details of her death
On October 22, 1992, Mr. Serapio
was also murdered in San Martín Tiopampa.
Finally, on July 7, 1994, teacher
Livio Antonio Quincho Paucar was killed by a policeman with
of “gypsy” in
unclear circumstances. The “sinchi” base
in Lacanamarca was finally closed in 1996.
1 Published in 1988, in El Diario.
2 List of victims by place of death is attached.
3 List prepared taking into account the testimonies
of family members interviewed by COMISEDH.