This article describes the representations that the newspaper El Comercio published about the main actors involved in the Peruvian Internal armed conflict –the State Agents (militaries and polices) and the PCP-Shining Path’s members– during the early post-war years. The aim of the investigation was to analyze the ideological mechanisms present in the institutional opinion of this powerful mass media company. In order to this, the study takes the theoretical-methodological approaches proposed from the Critical Discourse Analysis to analyze textually and ideologically the editorials published by El Comercio from August 2003 to August 2013: the decade after the presentation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report. On the one hand, the results show that the newspaper relativizes and silences the punishable actions of the police and military: they are qualified as heroes. Their crimes are justified by signifying them as mere excesses, only a small group of agents (or external elements of the institution) are responsible of that, and the military participation in this period is frequently omitted in the newspaper. On the other hand, the findings also reveal that the newspaper absolutizes an irrational characterization for the Shining Path’s members: they are signified as evil and perverse beings. The crimes committed by this subversive organization are emphasized, they are blamed of being the unique responsible (and the only participant) of the period of violence, and the newspaper denies any minimum recognition of justice for theirs. This research concludes that the editorials consolidate a “confronted meaning”, a radical dichotomy between Shining Path’s members and the militaries; also, it shows that a reality is hidden or reduced in exchange for the emphasis of another; therefore, this newspaper legitimizes the hegemonic discourse about the armed actors participating in the Peruvian Internal Conflict: absolute repudiation for some and cover-up praise for others.
|Translated title of the contribution
|“Killer hordes” vs. “Heroic soldiers”. Ideological representations in the editorial discourse of El Comercio during the decade after the Peruvian internal conflict
|Number of pages
|Latin-American Journal of Discourse Studies
|Published - 2020
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