The Peru Support Group (PSG) will lead a UK parliamentary delegation to Peru June 21-25 to help prisoners, many of them Christians, who were wrongly imprisoned during 20 years of political violence. The visit is being co-funded by Christian Solidarity Worldwide as part of its ongoing work with prisoners wrongly accused of terrorism offences.
The delegation will specifically encourage the Peruvian Government to act on the recommendations of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which concluded that around 69,000 people were killed or ‘disappeared’ during 20 years of political violence in Peru. It is also hoped that exploring Peru’s experience of a TRC may be of help in current moves to deal with the painful results of the last thirty years of communal violence in Northern Ireland.
Hannah Morley, the coordinator of the Peru Support Group, who will be accompanying the delegates, says, “we believe that it is only by acting on the TRC recommendations that Peru will be able to reconcile itself with what has happened, bring an end to impunity, and ensure that justice is done for those most affected”. The delegation will meet with former members of the Truth Commission, including its president Salomon Lerner and those involved in the newly formed Multi-Sector Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation. They will meet with members of Congress, senior government representatives and Peruvian human rights and development organizations.
The delegation will travel to Ayacucho, the area of Peru most affected by the political violence to meet with victims and those affected by the political violence.
“International cooperation is essential to complement our own efforts at home”, says Salomon Lerner, the former president of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “The (work of the) Peru Support Group forms part of raising international solidarity, of building commitment, of transmitting a strong message to all Peruvians (but especially to the victims) that they are not alone.”