[Marxism] So Sorry

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 24 08:05:19 MST 2003

A heartfelt apology and a promise to never do it again from Holy Toledo..... 
Peru's President Apologizes for Deaths

LIMA, Peru - Peru's president apologized for the 70,000 deaths from the 
country's 20-year battle with the Shining Path insurgency, and promised to 
punish officers that a scathing report blamed for many of the worst abuses.  
     Alejandro Toledo announced the government would spend $800 million in 
the next 2 1/2 years on public works in the areas hurt most by the fighting, 
from 1980-2000. But he didn't offer individual reparations that victims and 
human rights groups had sought.

The apology — the government's first about the insurgency — came three 
months after the government-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission 
issued a nine-volume report that said 70,000 people had died, and that 
military officers responsible for many of those deaths committed massive 
human rights abuses.       "In the name of the state, I apologize to all who 
suffered from the deaths, the disappearances ... to all the victims of 
violence and terror," Toledo said in a prerecorded national address 
broadcast late Friday night.

Toledo promised to incorporate the commission's key findings into school 
textbooks and declared Dec. 10 "National Reconciliation Day."    He also 
said that the attorney general's office and the judiciary will bring to 
justice those members of the security forces who committed "painful 
excesses" while cracking down on the Shining Path.    The Truth and 
Reconciliation Commission's report said the conflict was exacerbated by deep 
racism and a misunderstanding of the highland Indians who comprised most of 
the victims.    The army was unfamiliar with the Shining Path's strategy and 
suspicious that many highland villages — where Spanish was a second language 
— supported the guerrillas. Both sides attacked villages, killing unarmed 
men, women and children.

Commission members hope the report will force Peruvians to deal with a dark 
chapter in their history that many have tried to ignore. Conservative 
politicians and several retired army generals have criticized the commission 
for digging up the past.    The commission had called for reparations to 
individuals and communities affected by the violence.     Toledo said the 
"Peace and Development Plan" would provide improved health and education 
programs, and expanded electricity and telecommunications services.

The Shining Path launched a violent campaign of car bombings, political 
assassinations and massacres in 1980. The group's activity fell off sharply 
with the 1992 capture of its founder, Abimael Guzman.
The remaining rebels now provide protection for drug traffickers in jungle 
regions where coca — the main ingredient in cocaine — is grown

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