31 December 2013 |

Peru: Internal displacement in brief

As of December 2013


Peru’s internal armed conflict in the 1980s and 1990s displaced around 500,000 people, according to the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Many spontaneously resettled in other parts of the country, and the government only began facilitating returns in 2000. Violence associated with coca cultivation and cocaine trafficking, and a resurgence of guerrilla groups have caused new displacement in some rural areas.

The last official government figure for IDPs was 150,000 in 2007, but based on recent data from the national registry for displaced people, the current number could be as high as 230,000. The registry does not, however, distinguish between IDPs and those who have achieved a durable solution.

According to a government survey, there are also a number of IDPs still to be registered, most of whom were displaced by direct threats and disappearances from Huánuco, Ayacucho, Junín and Lima departments in the 1980s. Those IDPs who are registered continue to face obstacles in accessing the public health system. A recent study in the outer slums of Ayacucho city also found that more than 60,000 IDPs had been unable to formalise ownership of their plots, preventing them from taking out bank loans.

A 2004 law on internal displacement put the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations in charge of developing public policies, providing technical help and supporting local authorities in assisting and making reparations to IDPs. The government’s high-level multi-sectoral commission began individual and collective reparations in 2013, but it was only expected to have settled with less than quarter of those eligible by the end of the year.