“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 a terrorist. In spite of these difficulties, we as students tried to challenge these assumptions, we tried to show with our attitudes that in no way were we linked to any subversive movement, even through our good academic performance. It was easy to prove – we were good students and so we had no reason to believe these suspicions would fall on us.” – Gisela Ortiz, sister of fallen student Luis Enrique Ortiz, testimony before the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Watching Gisela Ortiz walk with the coffin of her brother on her shoulder through the campus of La Cantuta was stirring. As I walked beside her, filming her recite every name of the Cantuta 10, I felt the accumulating weight of every subsequent name.
From the moment I jumped out of my car upon arriving to Cantuta, I could acutely feel the Cantuta community. For 16 years, they had suffered the absence of their fallen brethren, and today they had returned. Hundreds of students surrounded the funeral cars, chanting “Spilt blood will never be forgotten!” and “We will not forget, nor forgive. Punish those responsible!” I had stepped foot into an aching community’s fight for justice.
Watch my trip to Cantuta on the 16th anniversary of the massacre …[youtube]Xz_u0uh2hZ4[/youtube]
Posted By Ash Kosiewicz
Posted Jul 25th, 2008