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Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru

Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru: Decolonizing Transitional Justice

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru
    Book Description:

    In 2001, following a generation of armed conflict and authoritarian rule, the Peruvian state created a Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC). Pascha Bueno-Hansen places the TRC, feminist and human rights movements and related non-governmental organizations within an international and historical context to expose the difficulties in addressing gender-based violence. Her innovative theoretical and methodological framework based on decolonial feminism and a critical engagement with intersectionality facilitates an in-depth examination of the Peruvian transitional justice process based on field studies and archival research. Bueno-Hansen uncovers the colonial mappings and linear temporality underlying transitional justice efforts and illustrates why transitional justice mechanisms must reckon with the societal roots of atrocities, if they are to result in true and lasting social transformation. Original and bold, Feminist and Human Rights Struggles in Peru elucidates the tension between the promise of transitional justice and persistent inequality and impunity.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09753-9
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Waiting in the Garden of Broken Trees
    (pp. 1-22)

    She pulled out an eight-by-ten photo from one of her bags and explained that her daughter had been taken in the night, and she had not seen her since. Kidnapping and disappearance as well as mass burials of subversives were common during the Peruvian internal armed conflict (1980–2000). She handed me the large photo of a young woman’s face with eyes that met me with a strong and clear gaze, her hair pulled back in soft waves. I received the picture, holding it respectfully as I contemplated the image. After some moments of silence, I commented that her daughter...

  5. 1 Parallel Tracks and Fraught Encounters: The Human Rights and Feminist Movements (and Campesina Protagonism) in Peru
    (pp. 23-52)

    The disappearance of family members, as told through Rosa Cuchillo’s reflections, traces back to events that occurred in May 1980. The Shining Path—Peruvian Communist Party (Sendero Luminoso) had a very strong presence in the Andean region of Ayacucho. In rejection of the legalization of leftist parties and participation in electoral democracy, the Shining Path burned electoral cards in Chuschi, Ayacucho. This event marked the inception of the armed conflict. Rural communities found themselves caught in the crossfire between the armed forces and the Shining Path. Both sides demanded allegiance from rural communities, which made the communities vulnerable to the...

  6. 2 Gender Implementation in the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission
    (pp. 53-80)

    When the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PTRC) initiated its investigation in August 2001, a gender analysis was not included. The twelve commissioners felt pressure to address the issue of gender, which functioned largely as a placeholder for “what happened to women.” Developments since the early 1990s brought gender-based violence, specifically rape, to light on the international stage. In 2000 the UN Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 recognized that women are the most affected in armed conflicts and called for the full implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law.¹ International pressure coupled with funding sources that required a gender...

  7. 3 National Reconciliation through Public Hearings: Representative Repertoire, Choreography, and Politics of Reception
    (pp. 81-104)

    The PTRC public hearings¹ marks the first time that the state listened to the voices of historically marginalized Peruvians. Those most deeply affected by the conflict were invited to speak on a national stage. The hearings aimed to build a new national narrative by giving voice to the victims/testimoniantes² and educating the public on lesser-known aspects of the internal armed conflict utilizing a human rights framework. One of the public hearings’ eight principles, “to contribute to national reconciliation, understood as the re-establishment of social harmony and the overcoming of forms of discrimination that exclude and victimize certain social sectors and...

  8. 4 Sexual Violence beyond Consent and Coercion
    (pp. 105-128)

    Prosecuting cases of sexual violence during internal armed conflict has become part of the international transitional justice agenda. Although the PTRC was not mandated to investigate sexual violence, it included the violation under the umbrella of torture¹ and other grave violations in compliance with international human rights law. According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Peru ratified November 10, 2001, “rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity are crimes against humanity.”² Examining the PTRC investigation of sexual violence provides insights into the limits and...

  9. 5 Finding Each Other’s Hearts: Weaving Interculturality into Gender and Human Rights
    (pp. 129-152)

    When the PTRC finished its mandate to research the causes and consequences of the internal armed conflict, it submitted the final report with recommendations for reform and reparations to President Alejandro Toledo and passed forty-seven human rights cases to the state prosecutor. In 2004 the collective Manta and Vilca case came to rest among the stacks of human rights cases in the Office of the State Prosecutor in Huancavelica. Currently, feminist and human rights organizations represent those women who decided to pursue their cases through the Peruvian judicial system. Cases of sexual violence during the internal armed conflict pose a...

  10. CONCLUSION: Paradox and Temporality
    (pp. 153-164)

    Rosa Cuchillo, the woman I met in the garden of broken trees, lives in suspended time, in an interstitial space between Heaven and Hell. What the state registers as a legal case of disappearance manifests in her life as an endless search for her daughter. Over the years she has found support from human rights advocates as well as local community and church groups. Rosa Cuchillo’s unending quest reveals the endurance of love, the importance of legal avenues to register such violations, and the critical role played by human rights advocates. This book positions itself within the paradox of rights:...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 165-192)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 193-218)
  13. Index
    (pp. 219-222)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 223-226)