Reference : V-P-PE-E-01264
Date : 06/2018
Country/Region : PERU
Caption : Ayacucho. A family receives the remains of a relative who has been missing since 1990. More than 70,000 people died in Peru during the armed conflict that took place between 1980 and 2000. Today, nearly 20,000 families are still searching for their relatives who "disappeared" during this period.
Photographer : ABRIL, Laia
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : This picture is from an exhibition "Suyay", by the artist Laia Abril. It depicts the pain and resilience of families waiting for answers concerning the fate of their missing relatives in Peru. The exhibition was held at the Centre de la Photographie Genève from 7 to 25 November 2018. The show's title from the Quecha word suyay, which means "to wait".

Exhibition extract:
"Now, my husband's death has been formalised. But I always knew it was him. Now that I have received his remains and can bury him, I am calm, but also angry, because he should never have died that way. They shouldn't have done that to him or anyone else. I feel resentment, because many people died in the same way as my husband and left their families alone. We raised our children as best we could, and we have to keep working to be able to live. Because of them. All because of them."

Vilma Huatuco's husband, Alejandro Quispe Anicama, disappeared on 11 April 1990, when Shining Path attacked the village of Naylamp de Sonomoro, in the district of Pangoa, in Satipo, Junín, and killed 42 people.

ICRC website, article of 08.11.2018:
"Waiting is never passive: New photos shed light on Peru’s missing

Twenty thousand families sit suspended between life and death: unable to mourn or move forward until they know the fate of their relatives.

Waiting is not a passive activity:
The women in this exhibition tirelessly campaigning to discover the fate of their loved ones. None more so than Adelina Garcia, former president of ANFASEP, who has been searching for her husband since he went missing in 1983.

"Too often the full story is not told. That's why it was important for me to be a part of this project as it's important to me that people know the entire story, and the stories of what has happened to other women as well," Garcia said at the exhibition opening.

"I won't be able to stop until I find his remains and can bury him. For instance, my mum is buried in the cemetery. Sometimes I go and sit down beside her. I talk to her, and tell her what I'm doing. But on 4 January, when it's his birthday, I can't do that," Garcias said.

It is impossible to know exactly how many people are missing today as a result of armed conflicts, migration or natural disasters.
This photo series reminds us that no matter how much time passes, the inter-generational trauma for families is everlasting.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5616x3744
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour