International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Reconciliation and Education in Peru

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Peru’s internal armed conflict began in the 1980’s headed by the regime leader Alberto Fujimori. Violent insurgencies led by the rebel group, Sendero Luminoso coupled with racial and cultural discrimination of native Andean populations, called for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to gather a final report clarifying the human rights violations committed from 1980 until 2000. Based upon the assigned readings, for the most part, reconciliation is a process of re-establishing the right relationships. In the context of Peru, Peruvians should respect the nation’s diversity and encourage a multilingual and multiethnic society. However the political actions of the Peruvian government go against the promotion of a multilingual and multiethnic society.

In rebuilding the future should the government try to structurally erase the past culture, including cultural traits such as language in order to move forward?

Reconciliation and memory are crucial to strengthening a country. Although the Peruvian President Alan Garcia has built a museum to memorialize the past atrocities, reconciliation goes beyond a physical space. Education is an overlooked essential reform necessary for preventing similar future conflict. Education is able to perpetuate political violence to some extent. In Peru, the education system is unequal and subjugates the already marginalized Andean farmers. The ethnic Andean population remains in the eyes of the government a subpar group, undeserving of the same consideration those in the center deserve.  Indigenous peoples are unable to receive a proper education let alone a bilingual education that promotes their language and embraces their culture. Successful reconciliation should not be limited to symbolic places such as the museums or physical places of memorialization, but rather needs to actively combine with adapting to the needs of a diverse population.

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One response to “Reconciliation and Education in Peru

  1. bsteve January 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    But while truth commissions can play an important role in reconciliation, the effectiveness of these commissions may vary. The success of the South African Truth Commission has not been repeated in every country. This appears to be the case in Cote D’Ivoire, where the commission’s poor structured and ill-defined purpose has made it a barrier to reconciliation, underscoring how difficult and intangible the process can be.

    According to an article by IRIN (link below), the Cote d’Ivoire Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CDVR) has been faltering in its ability to effectively address the grievances that lead to the 1999 coup and 2002 army mutiny. The CDVR has been largely unsuccessful at reconciling the tensions between the Ouattara and Gbagdo camps which led to violence in 1999 and 2002. Some have instead accused the CDVR aggravating tensions between the two camps.

    Observers have also criticised the panel’s inability to heal divisions and its failure to deliver new and compelling information. The structural causes of the conflict, which were already well known, have been overemphasized according to the article. In addition, the CDVR appears to have been co-opted to fulfil the political ambitions of its chief, Charles Conan Banny.

    The problems faced by the CDVR suggests that truth commissions need to be established with greater political impartiality and with a clearly defined mandate for its investigations. Recommendations that might appear easy in hindsight, but are not always simple to implement. In either case, Peru’s truth commission and the CDVR highlight the weakness of these panels if they are co-opted for individualistic political purposes and fail to consider the needs of its victims.

    IRIN Article on the CDVR: http://www.irinnews.org/report/99456/c%C3%B4te-d-ivoire-truth-panel-seen-faltering

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