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Why Soldiers Rape: Wartime Sexual Violence in Peru Michele Leiby PhD Candidate University of New Mexico

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Presentation on theme: "Why Soldiers Rape: Wartime Sexual Violence in Peru Michele Leiby PhD Candidate University of New Mexico"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Soldiers Rape: Wartime Sexual Violence in Peru Michele Leiby PhD Candidate University of New Mexico

2 Study Background Case selection SV in Peru is systematic, not opportunistic – SV is gender-based violence – SV is one component of repressive counter- insurgency strategy How is SV used to advance military & political goals

3 Data Based on >2,000 testimonies from the CVR Demographic data on victims and perpetrators of violence, and contextual details on when, where and how the violence was perpetrated 20,089 violations (victim-violation- perpetrator) 14,662 unique victims

4 Human Rights Violations

5 Sexual Violations



8 Location and Context ~ Sexual Violence Public spaces Comm. Plaza Street Market School Church Not in detention Not during interrogation Sexual violence Private spaces Private residence Woods/Mtns. Abandoned Bldgs. Often in detention Sometimes during interrogation

9 Victims and Survivors ~ SV Victim Profile Male Young adult – middle age Elementary education, literate Spoke Spanish and Quechua Peasant Peasant orgs, co-ops “traitor” and “terrorist” SV Victim Profile Female Single University education Spoke only Spanish Housewife Labor unions, assistance orgs, religious/cultural orgs “terrorist” More likely to be prev. victimized, know someone who was, or witness prev. crime

10 Content Analysis How did the victim come to be targeted for SV What was s/he doing at the time of the initial capture What, if any, events preceded the attack What language did the perpetrators use during the attack

11 Generalized Terror Campaigns* 4% Victor’s Story Individual Punishment 30% Fortuna and Percy’s Story Group Punishment 20% Ciprian’s Story Interrogation/Confession 11% Arturo and Irene’s Story

12 Victor Before the community was peaceful until the SL arrived. They forced people to support them and said they would be killed if they refused. Victor was on black list for refusing the help. One night, SL entered Victor’s house, tied him up and took him away. They beat him and threatened to kill him, but later let him go. A few months later, the military and CAD captured Victor and took him to the plaza. They stripped him in front of everyone and gave his clothes away to other community members. They brutally tortured him. They then put a bag over his head and took him away and killed him. (CVR Testimony 500173)

13 Fortuna and Percy SL arrived and Fortuna invited him in for breakfast. He ate fast and said he was going to the mountains. Three minutes later he returned and said ‘Escape! They’re coming!’ The military surrounded the house and saw the SL leave out the back door. The soldiers entered the house and asked Fortuna where the terrorist went and where they were hiding their weapons. …They stripped her and beat her, broke her arm. The soldiers separated Fortuna and Percy. They threw her on the table in the living room. She was tortured by 4 or 5 members of the military force who put a hot iron inside her vagina and rectum while they asked her about her son, the ‘terruco.’ After they were done with her, they poured fuel all over her body and torched her…The soldiers turned their attention to Percy, they took turns torturing him. One of them was called ‘negro,’ a tall black man, who burned Percy’s body with a cigarette and cut off his penis….They were tortured from 7:30am to midday. The soldiers then set the house of fire and fled.

14 Ciprian During this time there was constant threat of SL actions. Many people were displaced from the community; those that didn’t obey their orders were killed. There were about 100-200 SL in the area; they totally dominated the area. The army had bases in Machente and San Francisco and patrolled the zone. Under the pretext of looking for SL, they detained and killed a lot of people. On July 7, 1984, the SL captured and killed a soldier who was out on patrol. Afterwards, the military entered the community and gathered everyone by force. They took 43 people who were thought to be in favor of the SL and took them to the community plaza, where they were stripped and beaten. Five women were raped. Later the bodies of 31 of those captured were found in a neighboring village.

15 Arturo and Irene Arturo and his wife were detained December 1, 1991. They were captured in their home by DINCOTE, who accused them of being members of the MRTA. They were taken to the beach, where they were stripped and tortured. The police told Arturo that if he didn’t cooperate with them and tell them what they wanted to know, they would rape Irene. But Arturo didn’t know what to say, so the police raped Irene. They kept asking him questions about the names of his comrades and where they kept their weapons, while forcing him to watch the abuse of his wife. When Arturo tried to stop them, the police beat him until he was unconscious.

16 We used bad language to humiliate and break our targets. We would call her ‘chola fea,’ ‘chola apestosa,’ ‘la chola no sirve’. (CVR Testimony 200145) They said horrible things to me. They said, ‘Hey, prostitute! How many men do you throw down with every day? How many men take you, prostitute?’ (CVR Testimony 700020) Oye machorra! (CVR Testimony 200314) The DINCOTE officers brought in two policewomen. They came up to me; I was hung by my wrists naked. The female officers approached and began to make fun of me. They pulled on my penis and laughed, saying ‘Look at this poor fool; it’s so tiny. How can you call yourself a man; you are not a man.’ I was humiliated. (CVR Testimony 720038)

17 Conclusions Wartime SV is complex and may serve multiple, simultaneous functions in different conflict zones and at different stages of the war Viability of content analysis for imputing motives

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