Methods: Data for this study were obtained from the forced disappearances database included in the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) report of 2003. Only 2099 out of the 2144 cases reported were included in this analysis due to missing data. The sample was predominately male (85%), and the average age was 29 years old. Using ArcGIS 10.2.2, a hotspot analysis (Getis-Ord Gi*) was conducted to identify significant spatial clusters of high and low numbers of disappearances by province. A follow-up hotspot analysis was conducted to look for clustering in the Huancavelica, Ayacucho, and Apurimac regions, where the conflict was more prominent.
Results: Results from the first hotspot analysis indicated a statistically significant clustering (p<0.05) of high incidents of disappearances in four central regions of Peru (Junín, Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Apurimac, and Cusco). Statistically significant clustering (p<0.05) of low incidents of disappearances were observed on the northern and southern regions. The follow-up analysis on the three previously selected regions indicated a statistically significant clustering of high incidents of disappearances occurred in three northern provinces of Ayacucho (Huamanga, La Mar, Huanta) and one northern province of Apurimac (Abancay).
Conclusions and Implications: Overall, high incidents of disappearances during the civil armed-conflict in Peru occurred in the central regions of the country, primarily in rural areas. Study results suggest that communities in the provinces of Huamanga, La Mar, Huanta, and Abancay experienced a high number of disappearances, most of them being young males. Future studies and intervention programs should consider not only the effects of violence over time, but also the effects that forced disappearances had on the social capital of rural communities, especially in the areas identified in this study.