Published in Deutsche Welle on 20 July 2017
AYACUCHO, Peru – A dilapidated concrete structure stands in the middle of the field in Ayacucho, around 570 kilometers southeast of the capital Lima. This is where the gasoline was kept, Juana Carrión tells DW. In front of it, overgrown by weeds, are the stone ruins of what used to be three ovens. This is where bodies were burned; forensic archaeologists found the charred remains of bones. The rest of the field is a mass grave called La Hoyada. The contours of the squares in which the archaeologists made their last excavations in 2014 are still visible under the weeds. The remains of an estimated 110 people were found.
During the civil war, between 1980 and 2000, this area was used as a training ground for the army, which still has its base up on the hill. It became a so-called death camp where the army would take the people suspected of being part of the Shining Path guerrilla group.