LIMA – Peruvian authorities found five clandestine graves containing the remains of 60 people thought to have been killed by security forces in the 1980s, the Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.
Investigators working under the supervision of regional prosecutor Juan Borjas Roa found the graves in Oronccoy, a community in a remote area of the southern region of Ayacucho.
Ayacucho was the birthplace of the Maoist-inspired guerrilla group Shining Path, which launched in 1980 a “people’s war” against the Peruvian government that led to two decades of conflict.
The largest grave found in Oronccoy holds the remains of 50 people, including women, children and the elderly, the AG office said.
Investigators determined the killings occurred in January 1985 at a spot known as Estaca Parada, about three hours by road from Oronccoy.
Witness accounts indicate the remains are those of people slain by members of a police special forces unit known as the Sinchis during a pre-dawn raid.
The report issued 12 years ago by Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission blamed Shining Path for most of the 69,000 politically motivated killings that took place in the country between 1980 and 2000.