Peru's lingering war wounds





Few wounds heal more slowly than those inflicted by a civil war. Dan Collyns reports from Peru where people are still struggling for reconciliation nearly a decade after the killing ended.

It was too late for the vet to save Tino and Zorrita. The Labradors died from poison which had been left on the doorstep of their owner's home in a middle-class Lima suburb.

Then came the telephone calls. "What we did to your dogs. We are going to do to you," said the deep-voiced caller.

Salomon Lerner, a university rector, is not, you might think, the typical target for death threats. Some years ago, he was president of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an exhaustive investigation into the country's bitter civil war between 1980 and 2000.

Now, along with Peru's most famous author, Mario Vargas Llosa, he is part of a commission to create a museum of remembrance for the victims.

But memory is controversial in Peru.

Three decades ago, dead dogs were hung from lampposts - symbols of the capitalist state which the Shining Path proclaimed it would overthrow in a popular revolution, irrigated by a river of blood.

But the Shining Path do not kill dogs anymore.

Salomon Lerner's Labradors were, it appears, poisoned by an extreme faction of Peru's political right who disagree, sometimes violently, with the conclusions of the commission he presided over...


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