Sunday, June 22

Truth Commission

In Lima, El Comercio cast the Commission's visit as an effort to get its hands on classified information in the hands of the U.S. government, but the Washington Office on Latin America's Coletta Youngers, an organizer of the Washington forum, "Illuminating the Past, Transforming the Future: A Report from Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission," said in an e-mail to the LASA Peru section, which I repeat here with her permission:

"Salomon Lerner [Commission Chairman] responded to a question in the press conference about their views on the declassified documents and he said what the commission has said in the past -- that they are disappointed that more information has not been provided by the U.S. government. The visit to DC, however, was not focused on seeking further information from the U.S. government. On the contrary, the primary purpose of the visit was to participate in a major forum organized by WOLA and other organizations (including the Truth Commission) to present the work of the commission to date. (The presentations were terrific and I'm hoping we can get them on to our web site -- I'll let you know if that happens.) High-level meetings were held, but the focus was to gain support for the implementation of the commission's recommendations and financial support for the reparations plan that the commission will be putting forward.

"We, however, are continuing to push for further declassification with the hope that someday we'll be able to tell the whole story!"

I will point to the WOLA's material when it becomes available. From Coletta's description, I am sorry that I could not take off a full-morning from my work at the OAS to attend the forum. I'm sure that an interesting crowd showed up to hear the Commission and the panel. By the way, Coletta will be leaving WOLA soon for an extended stay in Europe. She's been a big friend of Peru in Washington for as long as I can remember.

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