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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 23:55 GMT
Peru remembers political victims
By Hannah Hennessy
BBC correspondent in Peru

Peru is to hold its first national day of reconciliation on Wednesday.

Peruvian president
Toledo's critics have accused him of seeking to improve his ratings
President Alejandro Toledo established the day after the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission published a report saying 70,000 Peruvians died or disappeared during two decades of civil war.

The government hopes the day will be seen as a mark of respect and a means of apologising to the victims.

President Toledo named 10 December as the day of reconciliation, saying he wanted to ensure Peruvians were never again brutalised by violence.

He has pledged $820m to help those most affected by 20 years of fighting between government troops and left-wing rebels, like the Shining Path.

The president is expected to attend a ceremony in Lima and pay tribute to the victims of Peru's dirty war as a means of marking the national day of reconciliation.

But the families of some of the victims say they do not want to be reconciled with those who killed their loved ones and some critics say Mr Toledo is simply trying to boost his approval rating.

In recent months the president has been languishing at less than 20% approval, significantly lower than the 60% he had when he took office two years ago.

Toledo 'sorry' for Peru killings
22 Nov 03  |  Americas
Peru strife killed 69,000
28 Aug 03  |  Americas
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21 Nov 02  |  Americas
Analysis: Peru's Shining Path
11 Jun 03  |  Americas
Peru's violent past
21 Mar 02  |  Americas
Analysis: Peru confronts the past
10 Apr 02  |  Americas

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