Perú: UN experts applaud ‘El Ojo que Llora’ memorial, warn against ‘denialist’ violence

Geneva, February 23, 2022.-UN experts* today welcomed the cultural heritage status bestowed on Lima’s «El Ojo que Llora» (The Eye That Cries) monument, built in memory of the thousands of victims from Peru’s decades-long period of violence, and called on authorities to redouble efforts to protect the site along with its supporters.

The memorial, created in 2005 in the Campo de Marte in the Jesús María district of the capital, was declared a National Cultural Heritage on 25 January 2022. The memorial has been vandalised on several occasions, and opponents have harassed and threatened violence against those associated with it.

The UN human rights experts said they were appalled by threats on social media and local news made against victims, human rights defenders and government officials who participated in an event marking the declaration of its heritage status.

«We are concerned that such expressions may lead to renewed acts of violence against people supportive of the monument, as well as endanger the memorial site itself,” the experts said. “We urge the authorities to redouble their efforts to ensure their protection.»

The UN experts welcomed the memorial’s official recognition as an essential element of reparation, guarantees of non-recurrence of violence and the right to participate in cultural life.

They expressed concerns at a draft law submitted for approval by Congress which calls for the declaration to be repealed.

“Peru has an obligation to guarantee the preservation of the historical memory of past violence,” the experts said. “This includes protecting private memorialisation initiatives established by victims and civil society organisations. Such measures should be aimed at preserving collective memory of the brutal killings and enforced disappearances of the past and to prevent the emergence of revisionist and denialist theories.»

The experts have been in contact with the Government of Peru regarding the memorial «El Ojo que Llora».

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