“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 the poem I reproduced in my first blog.
“Huamanguino,” originally written in the indigenous language of Quechua by Ranulfo Fuentes, a Peruvian songwriter and high school teacher from Ayacucho, recounts the disappearance of a young man dragged from his home at the hour of “deepest sleep.”
Months and years have passed
Where could he be?
Perhaps under the stony ground
or among the thorns
budding like wild flowers.
Soon he will return, he will come back
like rain for the crops
to make the seeds sprout
like the sun at dawn
that makes flowers bloom.
On July 19, the martyrs of Cantuta received their Christian burial at El Angel cemetery. Disappeared in the rocky hills of Cantuta for years, they finally returned.
Yet many in Peru still wait. Recent estimates of the total number of disappeared in Peru now exceed 15,000. Fewer than 1,000 have so far been found. Of those found, less than half have been identified. While relatives of Cantuta now await the condemnation of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, many families simply want to know where their loved ones are – and to bury them with dignity.
The ceremonial burial invoked songs, chants demanding justice, and flags declaring “student integration” – the latter representing a new student movement determined to create a consciousness around human rights in Lima.
The ceremony also included the singing of “Flower of Retama,” a song written in honor of 20 peasants and students killed by paramilitaries in the city of Huanta in 1969 after “Huantinos” challenged a decree instituted by the then-military government ending free secondary education. The song, written by Ricardo Dolorier in December 1970, became increasingly associated with subversive movements in the 1980s, including the Shining Path – despite aclarations by its author of the song´s original meaning.
Surrounded by their relatives, members of the larger Cantuta community, and other supporters, the fallen Cantuteños claimed their dignified final resting place – together.[youtube]RRMKuc03QQ8[/youtube]
Posted By Ash Kosiewicz
Posted Aug 5th, 2008