Peruvian anthropologist Marcela Poirier is taking a hit for survivors of abuse by Luis Jaime Castillo Butters. Now is the time for colleagues to step up and support her.


Since this blog has a large and long-time following, I want to appeal to all readers to support Marcela Poirier, who was on the losing end of a decision by a Peruvian judge, who decided to believe a powerful Peruvian archaeologist and former culture minister that Marcela had defamed him.

Of course she did not, as my reporting--along with independent investigations by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the sexual harassment commission of Castillo's own university--demonstrated clearly. (For background to the case, please see this link and several others on this blog.)

Marcela and her attorney, Brenda Alvarez (a well-known fighter for social justice in Peru) are appealing the case, but that takes money. And if they lose, then Marcela is on the hook for nearly $50,000 in penalties. (The judge also issued a suspended sentence of one year, eight months in prison. Castillo had asked that she be locked up for 30 months.)

The good news is that Marcela's case has become a cause celebre in Peru, and many are defending her, including in the Peruvian press.

What can you do? Easy. Please give what you can to Marcela's defense fund, set up on a GoFundMe page. And whether or not you can donate, please use your social media platforms to spread Marcela's brave story and ask others to give as well.

Together, we can defeat this so-called #MeToo backlash, which is spreading like wildfire around the world and must be defeated. Survivors cannot be asked to go back in the closet and suffer in silence about the abuses they have experienced.

Thank you.

PS--Please feel free to use the Comments section of this blog to send messages of support to Marcela, and to tell stories of your own. From Australia to California to Peru, this blog has become widely known as a safe place to share experiences.

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Anonymous said…
Impresionante como hay una total anomia con el caso de Marcela, es como apoyar a la bestia Castillo. La prensa en Lima a apoyado a Marcela, pero se necesita el apoyo internacional, los arqueologos norteamericanos deben ser sensibles y no temer a las represalias de este enfermo porque ha perdido poder en esto tiempos que tenemos a un ladrón en palacio de gobierno. Animo y ayudemos a Marcela!
Anonymous said…
The lack of response from the local archaeological establishment is frankly disappointing, especially coming from Castillo's own university. Their own institution published a statement finding the allegations to be credible. They seem to believe that it would be bad optics to admit any wrongdoing from one of their own, but don't understand that the longer they continue to defend Castillo the worse it looks for the department. Anyone looking to get an archaeology degree in Peru will turn elsewhere or choose to specialize in something else.
Anonymous said…
Archaeology PUCP keeps showing support for Castillo. They invited Canziani, who testified under oath in a Peruvian court in the trial against Marcela. Canziani is a long time friend and supporter of Castillo. That’s how the network of power works.

Anonymous said…

Marcela just won her appeal; her sentence has been declared null.