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7. Violence and Blindness: The Case of Uchuraccay

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Chapter Summary

Only rarely does life imitate art in the starkness and directness of its message. When that message is a tragic one, the effect becomes indelible. Such was the impact on Peru of the events of Uchuraccay, a small village located in its central highlands. Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission called it "an emblematic referent of the violence and pain in the memory of the country". In the twenty-year turmoil that engulfed Peru at the end of the last century, 69,280 violent deaths were recorded. What makes Uchuraccay emblematic of this carnage is not just its own destruction; it is the web of misunderstandings that entangled the participants. On January 23, 1983, eight journalists from Lima were caught in this web. This chapter takes this image of the journalists as a disclosure of the communal blindness that engulfed Peru. It relates this blindness to the violence that was its tragic correlate.

Keywords: communal blindness; events of Uchuraccay; journalists; Peru; Truth and Reconciliation Commission; violence



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