This article draws on anthropological research conducted with communities in Ayacucho, the region
of Peru that suffered the greatest loss of life during the internal armed conflict of the 1980s and 1990s.
One particularity of internal wars, such as Peru’s, is that foreign armies do not wage the attacks: frequently,
the enemy is a son-in-law, a godfather, an old schoolmate, or the community that lies just across
the valley. The charged social landscape of the present reflects the lasting damage done by a recent past
in which people saw just what their neighbors could do. The author contributes to the literature on transitional
justice by examining the construction and deconstruction of lethal violence among "intimate
enemies" and by analyzing how the concepts and practices of communal justice have permitted the development
of a micropolitics of reconciliation in which campesinos administer both retributive and restorative
forms of justice.