Clothing of 53 victims exhumed at Peru base shown
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian forensic investigators displayed on Tuesday the clothing that 53 people were wearing when they were killed in the 1980s at an army base in Ayacucho.
The prosecutor investigating the killings, Juan Borjas, said the Los Cabitos base was Peru’s biggest detention center during the political violence of the fanatical Shining Path insurgency and a backlash of abuses by the military.
Not a single former soldier is in prison for any of the killings that presumably took place at Los Cabitos. Peru’s Defense Ministry has refused to provide information about who was assigned there from 1983 to 1996.
The exhumations were done from 2005 to 2009. Only three sets of remains have been identified.
In hopes of identifying more, the International Red Cross will transport some of the articles of clothing to villages in Ayacucho state, where the Shining Path emerged, to see if relatives of missing people can identify them.
They were placed on display Tuesday at the national headquarters in Lima of the National Ombudsman’s office.
One survivor of Los Cabitos, anthropologist Jaime Urrutia, told The Associated Press he was tortured there in 1983, hung by the arms and submerged into a well full of water until he nearly drowned.
In all, 109 cadavers were exhumed from common graves. Forensic investigators say they also found four ovens where victims’ bodies were burned.