In its 2003 final report, the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission calculated the number of dead from the violence that raged between 1980 and 2000 at 69,280. Even though this was more than double the figure usually cited, some specialists believed that the actual number was even higher. Both the Shining Path and the Peruvian Armed Forces hid or disappeared thousands of victims, and many communities and individuals refused to collaborate with the truth commission. Thus, despite the indefatigable work of the commission members, the report left out entire massacres and countless smaller tragedies. Nonetheless, it denounced with rigor and indignation the violence that spread throughout Peru and the shocking silence about it in Lima and beyond.

These two books examine the era of violence and its aftermath. This is not easy reading: gruesome sexual violence, paralyzing personal guilt, and heartbreaking family...

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