I received this email from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team. EAAF works with photojournalists in past and present when unearthing crimes of war. They are an essential group not only to their field but to ours as well in that if we expect to exact any change with photography these are our partners in that effort. Please see their letter below.
We must request your support one more time in another set of death threats targeting a Latin American Forensics team in Peru. This time the targets are three Peruvian forensics experts, Luis Alberto Rueda Curimania, Carlos Alberto Suarez Canlla, and Maximo Angel Banda Roca, working for the Medical Legal Institute in Ayacucho. Ayacucho is a small city in the mountain areas of Peru where the rebel group Shining Path began and committed many atrocities. It is also important to note that Ayacucho is the site of numerous human rights violations in addition to humanitarian law violations. The Peruvian forensics experts are conducting the first investigation into human rights/humanitarian law violations of its kind in Peru. As a result, it is particularly critical that these death threats be stopped now if Peruvian officials want to conduct future investigations without danger.
The death threats came in the form of text messages to their cell phones. The first incident occurred on February 28th, 2005 while they were conducting exhumations at the Cuartel Domingo Ayarza (Ex Cuartel Los Cabitos No. 51) military base. The second set of threats came on August 9th and 11th, 2005 as the team was analyzing the human remains and associated evidence recovered from Los Cabitos. The threats demanded that the team stop working on this case or they will be killed. One message to Luis Alberto Rueda Curimania read:
“piece of s—-, stop the excavations or you will die, the same goes for Carlos and Maximo..”
The team did not file an official deposition with the government because they were worried about the consequences in doing so. However, this week they decided that it is necessary for their supervisors and Peruvian officials to be informed about this danger so that the team may be protected.
We ask that you, once again, help our colleagues in Peru by sending letters requesting an official investigation into the death threats and for security measures to be taken. We believe the letters will allow the forensics team to continue to conduct work without threat.
Your letters have been extremely helpful in the past and we hope you will be able to collaborate with us again. Letters should be sent to those people listed below emphasizing a full investigation into the death threats and for security to be provided to the team.
Dr. Alfonso Ricardo Cornejo Alpaca
Fiscal Superior Decano Del Distrito Judicial De Ayacucho
Address: Jr. Libertad Quinta Cuadra S/N
Huamanga – Ayacucho
Dr. Luis August Bromley Coloma
Jefe Nacional Del Instituto De Medicina Legal Del Peru
Address: Av. Abancay S/N – Quinta Cuadra
Cristina Del Pilar Olazabal Ochoa
Fiscal de la Fiscalia Penal Supraprovincial Con Competencia en Delitos Contra el Terrorismo y Lesa Humanidad
Address: J. Libertad Quinta Cuadra S/N
Huamanga – Ayacucho
Once again, we thank you very much for your support.
Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense/Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team
[a former member]
2005-10-17 10:07:42 UTC
Jun 24 2006