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July 12, 2004

If the Truth be Told


As part of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a photographic exhibition has been created to document the violence, murder and forced disappearance of approximately 60,000 Peruvians in the ’80s and ’90s.

Temporarily housed in a crumbling mansion in the town of Chorrillos, the exhibition, titled Yuyanapaq (“To Remember”), has drawn a large stream of visitors. Although the installation, modeled after Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, has been lauded for its impact, it’s future is uncertain. The Catholic University in Lima, which lent the use of the house, is strapped for cash and wants the space back. The commission, curators and photographers are currently pressuring the government to provide funding.

Regarding the photo above, the Shining Path rebel group marked its formation by hanging dead dogs from lampposts in Lima. Around the dogs’ necks were signs reading “son of a bitch.”

A sampling of the photographs can be found here on the Open Society Foundation website.

(photo: Carlos Bendezú, Caretas magazine)

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