November 30, 2010
For residents of the Huancavelica region of Peru, twenty years of internal armed conflict cast a nightmarish shadow over their lives. Government troops as well as militant groups fought across the region, catching the civilian population between them. What followed was two decades of violence, kidnappings, torture, and disappearances.
Even after the conflict finished, bereaved family members often had no word of their missing loved ones. They wanted to know what happened, and to be able to bury their family members. Thanks to PWRDF and its partner Project Counseling Service (PCS), the Museum of Memory has been created to commemorate the conflict, honor the dead, and work to ensure that such violence does not happen again.
Kimberly Stanton of PCS recently visited PWRDF in Toronto, and shared the story of the museum, as well as the video below which tells the story very eloquently. Stanton talked about the importance of the project for the victims and their families, and said, “The success of the project is due to years of partnership with PWRDF and other agencies.”
The Museum is housed in the local library, which is a victory in itself, because it indicates that the municipal government is finally willing to begin to address the issue of the conflict and its effects on local people. According to Stanton, the Museum is the first step towards truth and reconciliation. The three galleries of the museum tell the timeline of the conflict, share personal accounts of those affected by the war, and offer reflections and personal mementos of the people. It is a living museum, where those with personal stories to tell about the conflict are given the opportunity to tell their stories and add their own photos and keepsakes.