Journalist Amanda Meza published the first investigation into the ordeals that the LGBT community underwent during the armed conflict of the 80’s and 90’s on Thursday.
According to the report, the armed groups Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), and the right wing government armed forces lead by former president Fujimori committed crimes against these communities.
Meza explains that she has found “untold stories, stories of hate, stories of horrific policies of extermination of populations that are poor, far away, and invisible.”
In particular, the MRTA had a homophobic policy that equated homosexuals with criminals and proudly announced their murders.
The announcements and direct anti-LGBT attacks were published in their newspaper “Cambio”. Such findings motivated Meza to start an investigation and the magazine “Sin Etiquetas” or Without Labels which sent her to the Amazon of Peru to write an article.
One the stories she found was in the town of Tocache. There, armed groups would call all gay people by the homophobic term “chivitas” or “little goats” and they would give homosexuals ultimatums to leave town in 24 hours.
Many ended up tortured and murdered. One person told Meza that for some time the armed groups would not bother him because he had a popular restaurant and bar. But one time he was shot and he has a scar to prove it. Unknown people put him on a car and took him to a bridge. They made him look at dead bodies from nearby townspeople and then they shot him. He then jumped to the river, dived until he got to the other side, and took advantage of the darkness of night to escape.
He told Meza that he does not know who shot him, “terrorists, the military, and drug dealers would dress the same, cover their faces, and use uniforms. It wasn’t possible to see who killed you anymore.”
Meza explains that the information she obtained is just the tip of the iceberg and an extensive investigation is needed. She is determined to continue her investigations even if she has to do it on her own.
The Homosexual Movement of Lima – MHOL – is also invested in finding solutions.
Giovanni Infante, president of MHOL states that “what we are promoting is the creation of a citizens truth commission about the human rights of lesbians, transvestites, gays and bisexual. It will investigate these situations of violence torture, disappearances, and murder from the armed conflict to nowadays because there are structural conditions that make possible that the violence during the conflict against these populations continue today.”