|Luis Jaime Castillo Butters|
Late last month I reported on a series of allegations against the man regarded as Peru's most powerful archaeologist, Luis Jaime Castillo Butters. A number of women accused Castillo, a former Minister of Culture, of sexual harassment, sexism, bullying, and retaliation. The revelations have had a huge impact in Peru: Castillo's institution, the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), launched an investigation, and several student and faculty groups have gone on record opposing sexual harassment and other abuses of power. Feminists in Peru have also mobilized.
Castillo, for his part, has rallied his loyalists, who have been active on social media defending the man to whom many owe their careers. Castillo also gave a lengthy interview to the publication Peru21, whose reporter lobbed a number of softball questions and failed to challenge the contradictions and inconsistencies in Castillo's account.
I noted in the original post that many of Castillo's accusers were members of a growing collective of women, in Peru and in North America, who are fighting to put an end to abuses. I am happy to publish here an open letter they have written.
What follows is the open letter in English and then in Spanish; new testimony from one of Castillo's victims not included in the original report; and then transcripts of Castillo's interview with Peru21 in English and in Spanish (this interview includes a number of statements about me and my reporting, almost all of which are false, but I will deal with that another time.)
Update July 11: The Spanish version of the letter below has now been published by the Peruvian publication Mano Alzada ("Raised Hand.")
P.S. To the students and alumni who have raised their voices, we appreciate the support. For those who have been intimidated from coming forward—we see you, we hear you, and we support you. Be assured that we will persist. We do this for you and for future generations of archaeologists in Peru. As we have stated above, we have a growing international network of support, including financial resources, to assist in the event that Luis Jaime Castillo Butters and his allies retaliate.