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."

The Fujimori Trial and Human Rights – Take Three

15 Aug

“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 the first day of the Cantuta memorials at the EPAF office, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gisela Ortiz, sister of fallen La Cantuta student Luis Enrique Ortiz. Ortiz, who had enrolled at the university at La Cantuta with plans to teach linguistics and literature, was just 20 years old when her brother was disappeared by the Colina death squad on July 18, 1992.

For the last 16 years, Ortiz has fought incessantly in honor of the Cantuta 10, relegating her studies, career, and the potential of a family of her own to the side. Her own personal ventures – including helping run her family´s small pharmacy in Chachapoyas and the cultivation of a small organic coffee farm – came to a standstill once legal proceedings began against Colina.

Since the restitution of her brother´s remains and their subsequent burial a few days later, Ortiz now awaits the sentencing of Fujimori as the last necessary piece in her 16-year fight for justice. Her work on behalf of victims of Peru´s brutal civil conflict, however, is far from over.


Part II


Posted By Ash Kosiewicz

Posted Aug 15th, 2008

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