The Lima Mayor Closes Museum of Memories, Causing Protests

The Lima Mayor Decided to Close a Museum Dedicated to Tolerance and Memories in Battle Over Story of Peru’s Violent Past.

Apr 8, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Lima Mayor
The Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion. Source: Wikipedia


The Lima mayor seems like he wants to forget Peru’s history and everything that happened not that long ago. He closed the museum called the Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion (Lum). The museum opened in 2015. Overall, the museum represents a symbol of people who died between the 1980s and 1990s. It was a brutal, intense conflict between the authorities and the separatists.


The Lima Mayor Denies the Mass Killing in Peru

The Lima Mayor
“Memory Does Not Forget” can be read on a banner when dozens hold a protest in front of the municipality of Miraflores district, in Lima. (Photo by Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)


By opening the museum, Peruvians wanted to create a space for remembering everyone who died in that decade. The museum opened for the public in 2015. Since then, the museum gets around 60,000 visitors per year. Also, the museum became a public place for a better understanding of the history and background of the conflict. It all stopped with the decision of a far-conservative Lima mayor.


Mayor Rafael López Aliaga greatly manipulates the public and spreads incorrect information. He and his supporters vigorously refuted the widespread murder carried out by both the Peruvian military and the Maoist insurgency Shining Path. Of course, the authorities can always find a reason to achieve something. This time, it was an excuse of the museum not meeting municipal safety standards.


The Lima Mayor
The Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion. Source: Andres Cisneros Mendoza


These events greatly worried human rights activists. They say in this way people are forgetting an important part of history for the people, as well as mass murders. Spreading misinformation is very dangerous – the uneducated population accepts it as truth. In this way, a large or the largest part of the population does not see what is really happening.

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Lopez Aliaga Called the Museum “offense to the nation”

Memory Museum, Peru
The Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion. Source: Hans Wurst


Lopez Aliaga, a founder of the far-right National Renovation party, spoke negatively about the museum since its opening. He called it an “offense to the nation” that peddles a “false narrative” of the war. The war took nearly 70,000 lives, as Peru’s truth and reconciliation commission shows. It is the most bloody struggle in contemporary Peruvian history. The museum was located in the municipality of Miraflores, which is overseen by a supporter of López Aliaga’s political party.


Memory Museum, Peru
The Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion. Source: Sajarah Peru Sac


Human rights activists also spoke about the events, for example Eduardo González Cueva. He works as a human rights consultant at the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. Cueva was surprised by closing the museum. He also believes the action fits into a larger right-wing movement. This movement denies crimes committed by government agents in Latin America. Also, this is the radical conservative movement’s global campaign to seize control of cultural conflicts.


The EU in Peru also announced recent events. “Historical memory is a fundamental value of all democracies”, the European Union in Peru tweeted last week, praising the museum as a place where citizens could “inform themselves and reflect on what Peru suffered, so that it will never be repeated”.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.