Source: (2008) International Journal of Transitional Justice. 2(1):63-82.

The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación (CVR)) has been praised for challenging positivist approaches to truth by focusing on victims and narrative interpretation. In this article, I argue that such a focus is not as problem-free as widely assumed. In spite of its normative human rights base, the CVR underestimated the issue of historical and political recognition of particular actors during the Peruvian armed conflict – an issue that bears practical and tangible consequences for the actors involved. I use the case of peasant self-defense groups and their treatment regarding potential reparations benefits to explore the challenges involved in combining a human rights agenda with issues of historical interpretation. (author's abstract)