The Politics of Victimhood at the Grassroots Level: Inclusion and Exclusion Among Peruvian Victim Organisations

  • Mijke de Waardt
Part of the St Antony's Series book series (STANTS)


Literature on transitional justice and victimology show an interest in how courts and laws define victimhood and how such definitions shape victim participation, with hierarchies of suffering as the result. In this chapter, I move beyond the legalistic perspective on the politics of victimhood. I question how organised victims construct victimhood for political and social purposes. I demonstrate that organised victims in Peru constructed a sense of similarity and difference by means of a categorical repertoire based on single victim categories, and by means of an organisational repertoire based on generational issues. I conclude that the inclusion of relationships between social organisations as integrated elements into transitional justice research is important for enhancing the understanding of the successes of civil society and transitional justice mechanisms.


Peru Politics of victimhood Transitional justice Victim organisations Collective action 


  1. ANFASEP. (2007). ¿Hasta Cuando tu Silencio? Testimonios de Dolor y Coraje. Ayacucho: ANFASEP.Google Scholar
  2. Bebbington, A., Mitlin, D., Mogaladi, J., Scurrah, M., & Bielich, C. (2010). Decentring poverty, reworking government: Social movements and states in the government of poverty. The Journal of Development Studies, 46(7), 1304–1326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boesten, J. (2014). Sexual violence during war and peace: Gender, power, and post-conflict justice in Peru. New York: Palgrave Macmillan and United States Institute of Peace Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carroll, T., Humphreys, D., & Scurrah, M. (1991). Grassroots support organisations in Peru. Development in Practice, 1(2), 97–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Castellón, R., & Laplante, L. (2005). Los Afectados por el Conflicto Armado Interno del Perú. Exigiendo el Derecho a la Salud Mental. Lima: Consorcio de Investigación Económica y Social Observatorio del Derecho a Salud.Google Scholar
  6. CONDECOREP. (2004). Espejo de la Verdad, Memoria para no Olvidar, Lecciones para la Historia. Lima: Gráfica Bellido S.R.L.Google Scholar
  7. Diez, A. (2004). Los Desplazados en el Perú. Lima: Comité de la Cruz Roja.Google Scholar
  8. García-Godos, J. (2016). Victims in Focus. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 10(2), 350–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guillerot, J. (2006). Linking gender and reparations in Peru: A failed opportunity. In R. Rubio-Marin (Ed.), What happened to the women? Gender and reparations for human rights violations. New York: Social Science Research Council.Google Scholar
  10. Guillerot, J., & Magarell, L. (2006). Reparación en la Transición Peruana: Memorias de un Proceso Inacabado. Lima: APRODEH, ICTJ.Google Scholar
  11. Marcus, G. (1995). Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multi-sited ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24, 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McEvoy, K., & McConnachie, K. (2012). Victimology in transitional justice: Victimhood, innocence and hierarchy. European Journal of Criminology, 9(5), 527–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Milton, C., & Ulfe, M. (2011). Promoting Peru: Tourism and post-conflict memory. In K. Bilbija & L. Payne (Eds.), Accounting for violence: The memory market in Latin America. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Muñoz, H. (1998). The construction of new sensibilities. In S. Stern (Ed.), Shining and other paths: War and society in Peru 1980–1995. Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  15. OXFAM-GB. (2004). Mapeo de las Organizaciones de Afectadas por la Violencia Política en el Perú. Lima: Oxfam. On file with author.Google Scholar
  16. Panfichi, A., & Alvarado, M. (2010). Desconfianza y Control: Organizaciones no Gubernamentales y Política en el Perú. In B. Sorj (Ed.), Usos, Abusos y Desafíos de la Sociedad Civil en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  17. Robbins, J. (2013). Beyond the suffering subject: Toward an anthropology of the good. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 19(3), 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rombouts, H. (2002). Importance and difficulties of victim-based research in post-conflict societies. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 10(2), 216–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sajjad, T. (2016). Heavy hands, helping hands, holding hands: The politics of exclusion in victims’ networks in Nepal. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 10(1), 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stavroppoulou, M. (1998). Will Peru’s displaced return? In R. Cohen & F. Deng (Eds.), The forsaken people. Case studies of the internally displaced. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  21. Strassner, V. (2013). From victimhood to political protagonism: Victim groups and associations in the process of dealing with a violent past. In T. Bonacker & C. Safferling (Eds.), Victims of international crimes: An interdisciplinary discourse. The Hague: Asser Press.Google Scholar
  22. Tamagno, C. (1998). Abriendo Espacio…Tejiendo Redes. Desplazamiento y Reconstrucción en la Región Central. Master Thesis, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, on file with author.Google Scholar
  23. Theidon, K. (2010). Ambiguous affects: Children, kinship, and community in Post-War Ayacucho. A. Contracorriente, 7(3), 374–381.Google Scholar
  24. Tilly, C. (1986). The contentious French. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. de Waardt, M. (2012). Do victims only cry? Victim-survivors and their grassroots organizations in Peru. In A. Ouweneel (Ed.), Andeans and their use of cultural resources, space, gender, rights & identity (pp. 63–84). Amsterdam: CEDLA Publications.Google Scholar
  26. de Waardt, M. (2013). Are Peruvian victims being mocked?: Politicization of victimhood and victims’ motivations for reparations. Human Rights Quarterly, 35(4), 830–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. de Waardt, M. (2016). Naming and shaming victims: The semantics of victimhood. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 10(3), 432–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. De Waardt, M., & Ypeij, A. (2016). Peruvian grassroots organizations in times of violence and peace. Between economic solidarity, participatory democracy and feminism. Voluntas International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28(3), 1249–1269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wallerstein, I. (2003). Citizens all? Citizens some! The making of the citizen. Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History, 15(4), 650–679.Google Scholar
  30. Youngers, C. (2007). En busca de la verdad y la justicia. La Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos del Perú. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mijke de Waardt
    • 1
  1. 1.INTERVICT (International Victimology Institute Tilburg)Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations