The violent repression of the Dina Boluarte government against the massive protests calling for her resignation continues to add up to the sentences. This Thursday, Amnesty International (AI) released a report denouncing that “serious human rights violations” are taking place in Peru, with “generalized attacks against the population” and the use of lethal weapons against protests. social. It classifies these facts as “crimes against international law.” It points out that the “abusive and disproportionate” use of repressive force has a highly racist content against the Andean indigenous populations. The human rights organization calls on the Peruvian government to stop the use of lethal weapons in the repression. But he revealed that in meetings with the president and ministers he did not receive guarantees that this will happen.
Erika Guevara, AI’s director for Latin America, pointed out that in the meeting with the president, she denied having ordered the use of lethal weapons against social protests. But reality leaves no doubt about the repeated use of these weapons -there are almost fifty victims of rifle shots-, and the government’s support for the security forces with the statements of its highest representatives -including the president- justifying and defending police and military actions. Amnesty indicates that criminal responsibility for the crimes committed during the repression extends to those who have shot at the population and to the authorities “at the highest level” who have given the orders, or who “by omission” have allowed these crimes. At the top of that chain of criminal responsibilities is Boluarte.
The repression has so far left 48 protesters killed by the police and the army – the total number of deaths since the protests began in December is 60 – and 1,200 injured. Amnesty ensures that many injured do not report and do not go to hospitals for fear of being arrested and subjected to criminal proceedings. The authorities accuse the demonstrators of “terrorists”. Relatives of the victims are harassed and threatened so that they do not report.
This week three Peruvian human rights organizations, the Legal Defense Institute, APRODEH and Paz y Esperanza criminally denounced Boluarte, ministers and senior police officers, for the case of six deaths and dozens of injuries in the Andean Andahuaylas. The Peruvian National Human Rights Coordinator also described the repression as a crime against humanity. And an Argentine human rights mission led by Juan Grabois also denounced the repression.
“The army and the police have illegally used lethal weapons (rifles) and less lethal weapons (shotguns and tear gas) indiscriminately against the population, especially against indigenous people and peasants. They have fired indiscriminately and on some occasions at specific targets, killing or injuring bystanders, protesters and those providing first aid to injured people,” the AI report said. It denounces that there are cases of shots against peaceful residents that “could constitute the commission of extrajudicial executions.”
According to Erika Guerrero, “acts of violence are used to justify the repression of the population that protests peacefully. Trying to take over an airport, as has happened, in no way justifies shooting at unarmed residents. The widespread, large-scale attacks against the population are intended to punish and silence those who exercise their legitimate right to protest, who demand dignity and a political system that guarantees their human rights.”
Indigenous inhabitants of the Andean areas, the poorest and most marginalized, victims of historical racism, are the vast majority of the victims. Amnesty reports that while the regions with a majority indigenous population represent 13 percent of the country’s total population, they concentrate 80 percent of the deaths from the repression.
“We have heard a speech from the authorities that strongly stigmatizes the people who protest, especially those who come from the southern Andes,” said Marina Navarro, AI director for Peru. This organization collected dozens of testimonies from Andean residents stating that the authorities treat them “like animals and not like human beings.” According to this report, “systemic racism rooted in Peruvian society and its authorities for decades, has been the engine of violence exercised as punishment against communities that have raised their voices.”
There is a judicial persecution against social leaders and protesters. Professor Yaneth Navarro, who traveled from the Andean Andahuaylas to Lima to participate in the protests in the capital, has been sentenced to 30 months in pretrial detention accused, without substantiation, of belonging to “a criminal organization to finance the protests.” She was detained during a peaceful mobilization, 1,900 soles (500 dollars) were found and a list for the use of that money to buy medicine and food for protesters who have arrived in Lima from the interior of the country. Communities and inhabitants of the provinces have made collections to finance her trip and her stay in Lima. Seven leaders of the Ayacucho Defense Front have been sent to pretrial detention for 18 months accused of terrorism for supporting the protests and demanding a Constituent Assembly. But there is not a single police, military or government official accused of the deaths in the repression. There are only investigations by the Prosecutor’s Office that are advancing slowly, and offer no guarantees.
Amnesty demands that the international community and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights take “timely and urgent” measures to guarantee the cessation of the repression and the accountability of the Peruvian authorities. The Peruvian government has been asked to put an end to the use of lethal weapons and use “less lethal weapons” such as tear gas “in an adequate and proportional manner”, urgently advance investigations to establish responsibilities for human rights violations, end the stigmatization against protesters and racial discrimination, and support the families of those killed and injured. “Boluarte listened, he did not give specific answers. He only said that the government was willing to support the families of the victims, ”revealed Erika Guerrero.
In the midst of the massive protests demanding his resignation and the international condemnation of the repression, Boluarte met at the Government Palace with Keiko Fujimori, who supports his government. He also with the mayor of Lima, Rafael López Aliaga, of the fascist Renovación Popular party, and with other right-wing political leaders.