Reference : V-P-PE-E-01265
Date : 06/2018
Country/Region : PERU
Caption : Ayacucho region. Portrait of a man who lost family members as a result of the armed conflict that took place in Peru between 1980 and 2000. More than 70,000 people died and today almost 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: "Delivery of remains"
"My name is Wilmer Juan Gavilán Limaylla. I am 34 years old, and the only surviving male child in my family. Almost my entire family was killed in 1990, so I was orphaned at the age of four."
On the night of 11 April 1990, the Shining Path attacked the village of Naylamp de Sonomoro in the Pangoa district, killing 42 people. Wilmer was hit by a bullet that reached his kidneys and almost fractured his spine. He still suffers today from the pain caused by that wound. In 2017, almost 30 years later, 24 of the 42 victims were identified. On the day the remains were handed over to them, Wilmer and his sister had to collect the remains of five people: his father, his mother and his three brothers.

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 : 3744x5616
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour