Peru returns victims' remains for burial after decades

Peruvian government returns remains of victims killed by rebel group Shining Path

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

In this Tuesday, March 29, 2016 photo, the coffins of 40 peasants slain more than two decades ago by Maoist-inspired rebels are displayed inside a classroom, before a mass burial service, in Huanta, Peru.

Peru’s government said on Thursday the remains of 40 peasants killed by the Maoist rebel group Shining Path more than two decades ago have been returned for burial.

Many of those who died, who included children and the elderly, were killed by the group while praying inside a church in 1991.

In a ceremony held on Wednesday with the support of the International Red Cross in the central highland village of Ccano, Justice Minister Aldo Vasquez asked for forgiveness on behalf of the Peruvian state for its role in the conflict.

The Shining Path waged a bloody rebellion in the 1980s and 1990s which led to some 70,000 people dying in civil strife nationwide.

The remains of thousands of victims of Peru’s 1980-2000 conflict have been identified by forensic teams in recent years.

The government estimates Shining Path today has some 350 members, including 80 armed fighters.

TRTWorld and agencies