Families receive the remains of 60 victims of Peru's bloody Shining Path insurgency during the 1980's. Sean Carberry reports.
STORY: The families of sixty victims of Peru's violent past have gained a measure of closure. At a mass in Ayacucho in southern Peru, the government returned the remains of recently identified bodies. Father Salvador Pineiro presided over the mass. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRIEST PRESIDING OVER MASS, SALVADOR PINEIRO, SAYING: "That they have peace in their graves, that our hearts be comforted and that we all walk in the world above towards the glory of heaven." The Ayacucho region was the home turf of the Maoist Shining Path movement that waged a bloody insurgency in the 80's and early 90's. Fighting between the leftist group and the government is estimated to have claimed nearly 70,000 lives. These 60 victims - men, women and children - were killed by state and rebel hands, says public prosecutor Luz Ibanez. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PUBLIC PROSECUTOR, LUZ IBANEZ, SAYING: "The victims are between 16 and 52 years of age. There are 16 women, two children 44 men and one unborn child. All of them murder victims by extrajudicial execution." The insurgency was crippled in 1992, when its leader was captured. But remnant factions still ambush security forces in jungle valleys where they are believed to co-ordinate with drug traffickers. There are still countless victims of the insurgency who are missing or unidentified.