The unmasking of the Colina squadron

12 September 2005 by Lucien Chauvin

Peru's judiciary opened the most important human rights trial in the country's history on August 17, when the Anti-Corruption Court began taking testimony in the trial of 57 defendants accused of taking part in a paramilitary death squad, the Colina Group.

The Colina group, which operated in the early 1990s, is accused of killing at least 35 people, including 15 people in 1991 in Barrios Altos, an inner-city Lima neighborhood, and nine students and a professor from the La Cantuta teaching college, also in Lima, the following year. The paramilitary group was allegedly set up as an illegal arm of the state security forces to eliminate suspected members of the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), guerrilla groups that were active in Peru throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. The leadership of the two subversive groups was arrested in late 1992 and both have been on the decline since.

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