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Between 1980 and the year 2000, Peru underwent an unprecedented political violence situation that left a painful balance of assassinations, kidnapping, forced disappearance, tortures, unfair detentions, serious crimes and violations to human rights. The violence process consequences were translated into alarming and dramatic figures. More than 30,000 people have been estimated to have died as a result both of terrorist actions and armed clashes, devastating of towns and collective massacres. According to figures prepared by the Ombudsman’s Office, 4,236 people were detained and, later, were found missing, presumably because of the police. The cases of torture and mistreatment grew dramatically. Around 600,000 people were directly affected to the point of being forced to abandon their homes generating an internal displacement phenomenon which sensibly affected original social networks as well as reception sites. Material damages caused by the conflict are equally huge, even when only the impact of violence on national, public and private infrastructure is taken into account. Conservative calculations record a similar amount to that of the national foreign debt: more than 26 Billion dollars.
The Provisional Government led by Valentín Paniagua created the Truth Commission on June 4th 2001, through Supreme Decree N°065-2001-PCM, which was ratified and complemented by Alejandro Toledo on September 4th that same year, finally being called Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Supreme Decree N°101-201-PCM).
La Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación se crea como la instancia encargada de esclarecer el proceso, los hechos ocurridos y las responsabilidades correspondientes, no sólo de quienes los ejecutaron sino también de quienes los ordenaron o toleraron, y a su vez proponer iniciativas que afirmen la paz y la reconciliación entre todos los peruanos.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is created as the instance in charge of clarifying the process and facts occurred, as well as the corresponding responsibilities, not only of those who executed them but also who ordered or tolerated them, while ,at the same, time it proposes initiatives to strengthen peace and reconciliation among all Peruvians.
It is important to notice that this search for truth and definition of responsibilities includes both terrorist organizations and State agents. The investigation period the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be working on, according to its mandate is from May 1980 to November 2000. This implies that no facts occurred before or after said dates will be investigated.