Author Archives: Isaias Rojas-Perez

About Isaias Rojas-Perez

Assistant professor of anthropology at Rutgers University-Newark. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Fragments of Soul: Law, Transitional Justice and Mourning in Postwar Peru, which explores the forms of mourning and justice without the body that have emerged among Quechua-speaking relatives of people disappeared by the state during the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency campaign in the Peruvian Andes. His ethnographic work focuses on forensic exhumations of clandestine mass graves and explores how Quechua-speaking families and communities of victims of state violence engage post-conflict prosecutions of state crime set within the Peruvian project of transitional justice.

Inhabiting Unfinished Pasts: Law, Transitional Justice, and Mourning in Postwar Peru

This article examines the possibility of mourning and justice without the body and its implications for political community in the aftermath of state atrocities. It focuses on the forensic exhumation of clandestine mass graves at the military base of Los Cabitos, the headquarters of the 1980s and 1990s counterinsurgency campaign in the Peruvian south-central Andes. These procedures uncovered technologies of body disposal used by the military that made impossible the identification of victims of state terror. In the face of this impossibility, relatives of the disappeared have appropriated the unknown remains to articulate forms of political mourning and justice that speak truth to power through ordinary languages and tropes.