Cloths and skeletal remains of an old woman killed by police forces after the exhumation of a burial site in Chillihua in Oronccoy. June 17, 2015

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Chungui Oronccoy: Scenes from the Peruvian Post Conflict

Max Cabello Orcasitas | Ayacucho, Peru

The territories of Chungui and Oronccoy, with just over a thousand square kilometers in the Ayacucho region, were the scene of multiple massacres caused by the Maoist-inspired Sendero Luminoso organization and the Peruvian military and police forces during the armed conflict that devastated the Peru between 1980 and 1995. 16% of its inhabitants were murdered: almost 1,300 victims; buried in 300 mass graves (some already exhumed). These tragedies were not isolated events. Ayacucho was the region that concentrated the highest number of deaths and disappearances reported to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: of the national total of 69,000 victims: 26,000 deaths (almost 40%) occurred in that region. 40 years later, Chungui and Oronccoy remain marginal areas. Both share extreme poverty and the precariousness of basic health and electricity services. Although they have experienced the restoration of their life rituals; At the same time, the slow process of exhumations and search for the bodies that disappeared during those brutal years develops, waiting to be recognized by their relatives, most of whom are orphans and survivors of the conflict.

This series aims to make this silent mourning visible.

Max Cabello Orcasitas (Lima, 1974) has been working since December 2009 on a project about the consequences of Peru’s civil war (1980-2000) in Chungui and other sites in Ayacucho, an Andean region that was fiercely struck by political violence.

At the same time, he has been developing a series on how people celebrate on the outskirts of Lima and other Peruvian cities, demonstrating how modernity and tradition mingle in urban settings and among an emergent middle class mostly comprised by people who migrated from the Andes and the Amazon.

Since 2007, he is a founding member of Supayfotos, a group of documental photography. For the past 18 years, Cabello has received several prizes and recognitions, and has constantly collaborated with local and international media.

Max Cabello Orcasitas



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