Abstract: Mapping Forced Disappearances in Post-Conflict Peru and Its Implication for Future Research (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

730P Mapping Forced Disappearances in Post-Conflict Peru and Its Implication for Future Research

Sunday, January 19, 2020
Marquis BR Salon 6 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
Karen Leon Negreiros, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Background and Purpose: Peru experienced a civil armed-conflict between 1980 and 2000. It is estimated that about 70,000 people died, roughly 600,000 individuals were internally displaced, and more than 20,000 were reported missing during the conflict. Official reports indicate that 75 percent of the victims were indigenous Quechua-speakers, a population that has disproportionally faced conditions of poverty and marginalization. The armed-conflict brought emotional and mental distress on these communities, especially for women. Not only they were affected by the disappearance and death of their family members, but also by the process of searching for their loved ones and seeking justice for them. With a dislocated family and with children who experienced violence firsthand, women were also forced to migrate to other regions, had to take care of their families without support and economic resources, and had to endure social stigmatization. Studies of the Peruvian conflict focuses on its effects on health and social outcomes, but less attention is given to the massive forced disappearances and their implication on such outcomes. The purpose of this study is to identify the geographical areas where forced disappearances were more prominent during the internal conflict in Peru, to help practitioners and authorities focalize future social and public health interventions

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.