Peru displacement

Ernesto Jimenez / Colectivo MMCC

The National Committee for the Displaced (Mesa Nacional sobre Desplazamiento) estimated that 430,000 people were displaced over the course of the 20-year armed conflict in Peru.


The internal armed conflict in Peru between the government and multiple armed groups, which persisted from 1980–2000, resulted in massive levels of internal displacement. In the 1980s, violent armed groups emerged—the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), followed by the Revolutionary Movement Tupac Amaru (Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru – MRTA). Both groups committed abuses against civilians.

The Peruvian state was also responsible for systematic human rights abuses, acting under emergency decrees. In the 1990s, President Alberto Fujimori’s repressive rule further eroded the rule of law and gave rise to amnesty laws and impunity for government death squads. This period ended in 2000, when Fujimori fled the country and resigned his office.

Fujimori’s flight opened the door for a number of subsequent transitional justice efforts:

  • In 2001, the government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación – CVR) to investigate the human rights abuses committed by all sides of the conflict from 1980–2000. It delivered its final report, which included the issue of displacement, in 2003. 

  • The CVR recommended a Comprehensive Reparations Plan (Plan Integral de Reparaciones – PIR), which was largely approved by a 2005 law and has slowly begun to be implemented since then. The PIR considers displaced persons as victims of the conflict and therefore as potential beneficiaries.

  • Since 2003, trials have been held for death squad members and police and military personnel involved in crimes of torture, murder, and disappearance.

  • Fujimori was charged with corruption and human rights violations and arrested in Chile. Following his extradition to Peru, he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2009.

Case Studies