Retired Peruvian Soldiers Face Trial for Systematic Rape

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According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website, one out of every six American women and one out of every 33 men have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his or her lifetime. Sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates work professionally and diligently to ensure the rights and needs of victims are met.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Lenhardt/Released)

Fourteen retired Peruvian soldiers have been put under trial for the systematic rape of 9 farm girls back in 1984. This was the time when the Peruvian government fought against the Maoist soldiers in guerrilla warfare. The rape allegedly took place in the Andean region in Huancavelica. This area was actually one of the poorest areas in Peru during the time of the conflict. The soldiers were found to have taken advantage of the distraught situation of the village and took advantage of the local girls.

According to Jose Quispe, the lawyer of the victims, the decision to put the soldiers on trial for an old case was due to the fact that it was a systematic rape which was done on a military base– a clear abuse of power and an alarming act that resulted in the women being traumatized.

Reports from Cynthia Silva of the Demus Rights Group showed that five of the victims got pregnant due to the rape and were traumatized since they had to have a baby at a very young age.

Quispe also stated that these victims were most likely not the only ones who experienced being raped. With that, more women could have been pregnant during that time and had experienced lifetime trauma. However, these women were also most likely too scared to speak.

In an attempt to uncover more truths of rape cases during that bloody period in time, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission took the case of the five victims back in 2003 to make a four-year investigation. The commission reported that there were many sexual abuse cases and even forced prostitution during that time. There were also many forced abortions from the victims.

The trial of the fourteen retired soldiers will take place within these two years. Judge Edhin Campos further announced that it will be a public hearing since it was a crime against humanity.

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