Ash Kosiewicz (Peru)


Ash Kosiewicz

Ash Kosiewicz (Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team): Ash graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 with a dual degree in government and journalism. After graduation, he worked for two years as a child support officer with the Texas Office of the Attorney General. In 2004, he moved to Ecuador, where he lived for 10 months working with a local foundation in Guayaquil to raise funds for a health center project in the rural canton of Santa Lucia. Upon returning from Ecuador, he worked for two years as communicators director with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which provides legal aid to the poor in the United States. At the time of his fellowship, Ash was studying for a master's degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After his fellowship, Ash wrote: "The AP experience has given me another incredibly impactful experience in Latin America. It has given me an incredible story to tell, one that truly leaves people interested though unsure how to respond. I feel like I’ve gone through some pretty intense stuff, and I’ve come out of it stronger and more aware. I know I can handle tough environments, and work in a fast paced environment."



18 Aug

Parting Thoughts

“To all Peruvians, victims of the longest and most painful period of violence that our country has suffered. We hope that this process that we have started brings us closer to justice and lasting peace.” – Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, August 29, 2003 A few weeks ago, I unknowingly walked over these solemn words […]

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Posted Aug 18, 2008

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15 Aug

The Fujimori Trial and Human Rights – Take Three

“It´s hard to understand and accept death when you don´t see the effects of it.” – Gisela Ortiz, referring to the pain of a disappeared loved one In my final installment of interviews related to the ongoing Fujimori trial and the current state of human rights in Peru, I bring back a familiar face. On […]

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Posted Aug 15, 2008

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12 Aug

News Flash: Fujimori Trial Update

From today´s issue of La Republica … “The Victims of La Cantuta and Barrios Altos Were Not Terrorists” Photo credit: Judicial Branch of Peru Benedicto Jiménez, ex-chief of the Special Intelligence Unit of the counterterrorism police force under Fujimori and mastermind behind the capture of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán, testified Monday that the 25 […]

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Posted Aug 12, 2008

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10 Aug

What’s News in Peru – Fujimori Edition

The Peruvian political landscape is in flux. Weeks after Fujimori loyalists, or Fujimoristas, broke ranks with opposition forces within the National Congress to help Peruvian President Alan Garcia’s APRA party win the presidency of the Congress in a 66-46 vote, the cushy relationship between Garcia loyalists, or Apristas, and Fujimoristas is causing some to cry […]

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Posted Aug 10, 2008

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05 Aug

The Final Farewell – Day 3

“Peru has suffered so much because of terrorism – that of the state, and that of the subversive groups. We must demand justice.” – Fedor Muñoz, speaking at the burial of his fallen brother and professor Hugo Muñoz Sanchez Now two weeks after the burial of the Cantuta 10, I remember a few stanzas from […]

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Posted Aug 05, 2008

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25 Jul

Return to Cantuta – Day 2

“Yes, there was a certain influence of subversive groups such as the Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement on campus, but in no way did this mean that every student at La Cantuta was a terrorist. However, a stigma had already been created – to be a student at Cantuta meant you were […]

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Posted Jul 25, 2008

1
23 Jul

La Cantuta Memorial – Day 1

“For me, they are not dead. They are alive. They beat in our hearts.” – Fedor Muñoz, brother of assassinated professor Hugo Muñoz Under an unforgiving sun, I left the cemetery of El Angel late last Saturday afternoon. As of today, I have yet to shake the images of La Cantuta. While filming my experience […]

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Posted Jul 23, 2008

2
17 Jul

The Fujimori Trial and Human Rights – Take Two

Peru is booming. If one measures progress by traditional economic indicators, Peru shines brightly at the top of many economic forecasts for Latin America. Productivity is up, an increasing number of foreign companies want to invest in the Peruvian brand, and Peruvians are spending and buying more. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America […]

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Posted Jul 17, 2008

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12 Jul

EPAF and La Cantuta

“Podrán Matar Las Flores Pero Nunca Las Cantutas” (“They Can Kill The Flowers But Never Those of La Cantuta”) After my Saturday morning run, a quick stop to the newsstand to peruse the headlines reminded me of the aforementioned verse printed atop a flyer set on my desk late Friday. “16 Years After the Horrendous […]

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Posted Jul 12, 2008

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07 Jul

Internet Se Fue

For the last hour, I have been staring at the “Wireless Connection Status” window on my laptop. (And yes, this does get better.) Since having serendipitously discovered wireless internet within a small corner of my room five days after arriving to Lima, I have squeezed most of my days between pockets of connective happiness. I […]

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Posted Jul 07, 2008

6
01 Jul

Eternal Love

“Mr. Fujimori has no responsibility for the acts that make up this trial.” — Vladimiro Montesinos, in reference to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori´s alleged culpability in the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres The declarative statement was reprinted within countless newspapers across Lima this morning. The headlines, in reference to Montesinos´ much-anticipated testimony Monday, […]

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Posted Jul 01, 2008

2
28 Jun

What’s News In Peru – Take Two

I admit it, I’m a news junkie. Here’s what’s making news this weekend in Peru, courtesy of La Republica and the BBC … “Montesinos To Testify Monday” The much-awaited testimony of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori’s key advisor Vladimiro Montesinos in the Fujimori trial is finally set for Monday. The testimony was formally delayed due […]

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Posted Jun 28, 2008

4
23 Jun

History 101: The Remains of Francisco Pizarro

History has never been my forte. I have often found myself challenged by the complexities of history classes. Someone I know once curiously suggested that my struggle with history could relate to the fact that I was in large part removed from my own. The son of two Polish parents, I spent a few short […]

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Posted Jun 23, 2008

4
16 Jun

The Fujimori Trial and Human Rights

Pick a street light. Look at the taped signs. “Fujimori innocent! He saved Peru from chaos and destruction. Freedom for Fujimori!” “Fujimori, the grand Peacemaker! His government captured Abimael Guzman Reynoso and Victor Polay Campos, the leaders of the Shining Path and the Revolutionary Movement of Tupac Amaru. Both unhurt without a scratch. Putting an […]

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Posted Jun 16, 2008

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13 Jun

Sunday Mornings

I lived for Sunday mornings. Photo credit: Getty Images, The New York Observer It wasn’t for the satisfaction of sleeping in after staying out late on Saturday nights. It wasn’t to revel in the last free morning of all-too-short weekends. On any given Sunday for the last 12 years, my alarm clock was set for […]

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Posted Jun 13, 2008

3
09 Jun

Reflections on Putis

Within 10 minutes of leaving Putis, one car in our six-car brigade broke down, delaying us an hour and a half. Before arriving to Huanta three hours later, the wheel of one of our trailers burst, leaving another group briefly stranded along a treacherous, rocky road. The normal five-hour trip to Ayacucho soon became nine […]

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Posted Jun 09, 2008

2
04 Jun

A New Beginning – Day 3

“Ha llorado.” (“You cried.”) Finally, I thought. I woke up my last day in Putis covered with every conceivable piece of clothing/blanket/sleeping bag I could find. As I lifted it all to look out on the new day, I was suddenly, unexpectedly greeted by the face of Ester, an EPAF employee that had slept next […]

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Posted Jun 04, 2008

6
04 Jun

The Families Arrive – Day 2

So what happened in Putis? In a civil war that saw both sides of the conflict engage in horrific acts, Putis is one of the most tragic events to befall Quechua-speaking indigenous peoples during the war. To enlist the support of the poor, the Shining Path often engaged in forced displacement of people in rural […]

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Posted Jun 04, 2008

3
03 Jun

From Ayacucho to Putis – Day 1

After arriving in Ayacucho, I stood incredulously in the heart of the region that had served as the central front of the war between the Shining Path and the Peruvian state. When you’re in an overnight bus and then a car for 14 hours in total, you have ALOT of time to reflect and talk. […]

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Posted Jun 03, 2008

5
01 Jun

Countdown to Putis

I spent the few hours preceding our 10:15 p.m. overnight bus to Ayacucho on May 26th busily helping the EPAF staff collect supplies for our three-day excursion to Putis. The EPAF team had begun working at the Putis site on May 17th. Ringing phones, last minute errands, making sure I hadn’t lost my bus ticket […]

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Posted Jun 01, 2008

6
26 May

The Fun Begins

Happy Monday! I took my first official bus ride by myself in Lima this morning from my neighborhood of Barranco to the EPAF office in a neighborhood about an hour away called Jesus Maria. The ride cost me 36 cents. Looking at a map of Lima, you wouldn´t think it would take that long, but […]

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Posted May 26, 2008

6
24 May

What´s News in Peru

Having yet to meet anyone here in Lima other than my colleagues at EPAF, I was a bit wary to wake up this Saturday morning with two full days to myself. After taking a short run along the ´´malecon´´´(´´boardwalk´´) that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, I came across a newsstand and picked up one of Lima´s […]

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Posted May 24, 2008

4
23 May

Follow the Boxes – The Sights and Sounds of Lima

My first day in Lima was everything I expected and more. I spent the first half of the day frustrated and lost. Learning the ins and outs of my new neighborhood, where to exchange money, where to buy food – it all felt like I was back in Guayaquil. Upon returning to my house with […]

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Posted May 23, 2008

2
21 May

Lima-bound!

I am writing this first blog from the Miami airport, 2 hours until stepping on a plane to Lima, Peru. I just today finishing training with The Advocacy Project (AP), my US-based sponsor organization, to serve as an AP Peace Fellow in Peru for the next three months. While I’ve traveled to a few spots […]

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Posted May 21, 2008

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