Jessica Varat

Jessica Varat (Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team - EPAF): Jessica worked at the Latin America Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C, where she specialized on politics in Bolivia. During her time at the Center, she traveled to both Peru and Bolivia, and completed a semester-long introductory Quechua class. She also coordinated projects on citizen security and the geopolitics of energy. At the time of her fellowship, Jessica was a graduate student at the Fletcher School studying Conflict Resolution and International Negotiation. After her fellowship, Jessica wrote: “I think I now see myself as someone who is open to idealism and becoming truly passionate about an issue. I am also now less afraid of being in a new situation where I might experience hardship, and have learned that with good friends, like the ones I had at EPAF, hardship becomes much less hard. I am now committed to the study of transitional justice.”

Words to action: the humanitarian umbrella

27 Aug

I am taking advantage of being AP’s featured fellow to repost the english version of the web page my friends at EPAF have created for tomorrow’s mass action in Lima.  For those of us that are not in Lima, we can show we care about the plight of the families of the disappeared in Perú (and all over the world for that matter) by sending in a picture holding an umbrella. Here is more information:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Open Up Your Umbrella! – For the Families of the Disappeared in Peru

In Peru, thousands of families lost their loved ones as a result of forced disappearances during the 20-year internal armed conflict from 1980 to 2000. Today, both the state and society have a moral obligation to help the families search for the disappeared so that they can recover their remains and bury them with dignity.

On August 28th, Peruvians will gather together at 6:30 pm GMT and open umbrellas in the Plaza San Martín in Lima to draw attention to the unresolved issue of the disappeared. We invite you to take part, wherever you might be, by taking a picture of yourself with your umbrella and uploading it to the Open Up Your Umbrella! group on Flickr. (If you don’t have a Flickr account, you can always send your photo to, and we’ll upload it for you!)
Better yet, get a group of friends together with umbrellas and take a photo. Make it creative, artistic or just plain fun. The important thing is that you participate and pass the word on to others so that we can raise consciousness about this important issue and make the recovery of the disappeared in Peru a priority once and for all.
There are over 15,000 disappeared persons in Peru, and we hope to have a photo to represent each and everyone of them.

On August 28th at 6:30 pm GMT, open an umbrella, take a picture, and help the cause!


Posted By Jessica Varat

Posted Aug 27th, 2009

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