We can’t keep quiet anymore

“They say that Argentines abroad are giving a false image of Argentina”

(Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1977)

They accuse us –Raúl Zaffaroni and me- of “illegal practice of law” when the presentation of Amicus Curiae at local levels is a prerogative of any person, it is not even necessary to be a lawyer. The “illegal” practice of law (asking migration to “investigate” if we are in the country when we have not been in it for months, preventing Zaffaroni from seeing Pedro Castillo because he did not have his lawyer’s card with him… issuing extravagant statements so that foreign lawyers “cannot visit the prisons of Peru, to say that the massive protests are “red ponchos” sent by Evo Morales to “sabotage” Peruvian politics) is that of those who, without respecting the procedural norms, dismiss irregularly against a president, unduly usurping political and constitutional power and conspiring in his duties to commit serious state crimes. 70 deaths are an unsustainable international scandal for any democratic government. Another boy died yesterday. He was 22 years old. 36 pellet marks on him body. He wasn’t even a protester. He was hiding behind a tree. The police shot him at point blank range. No mercy. Pure barbarity. Everything is filmed. Rosali no Flores was her name.

There is a specific regulation to use pellets but it is not respected. You must be 35 meters away from a person to shoot them. The Peruvian police use it less than a meter away!

Every time the dead are mentioned, the Peruvian media (with some honorable exception such as The Republic or Hildebrant’s medium, fighting with Castillo but honest in his journalistic exercise) look the other way. Nobody wants to say anything. It seems incredible that almost 70 corpses can be hidden. But the media siege in Peru is very strong. What is already intolerable is the silence of the rest of the Latin American countries, with two honorable exceptions: Lopez Obradorin Mexico, the main support of Castillo and his family (cultivator of the Puebla Group), and Gustavo Petro, in Colombia, perhaps the most lucid and prepared president in the region today. Evo Morales (a friend of Castillo, who supports Bolivia’s exit to the sea, exiled in Argentina after the Janine Agnes coup, backed by the OAS, dear Evo is prohibited from entering Peru) and Gabriel Boric (the only president to speak of Peru’s coup at Celac in Buenos Aires) have also made clear statements. But all leaders should do it now. To be silent when it is necessary to express oneself is to be an accomplice of the horror. And in Peru there is a massacre.

In Argentina there are women from AMPAEF, who came to ask for justice and reparation in the international human rights forum. They are women from the southern Andes, who were forcibly sterilized during the Fujimori dictatorship. Castillo supports them. Since Castillo was illegally ousted, the Huancabama women’s house was looted and the women, victims of forced sterilization who lived there, thrown onto the street. They have nowhere to live.

The Peruvian embassy in Spain also does not respect the serious exercise of freedom of expression. They have reached the international role – typical of any dictatorship – of formally complaining to a newspaper (The country, from Spain) for the mere fact of having conducted an interview. Dissenting voices cannot be silenced. Less those who denounce serious crimes. They think that Europe handles its media with the same discretion as in Peru, where the vast majority still do not dare to denounce the 70 deaths and the repression of hundreds who preferred not to go to hospitals out of fear, despite being injured, for fear of being denounced for the mere fact of demonstrating, of exercising their right to protest. In Peru there is no longer a democracy.

The Minister of Justice of Peru (like Cateriano, a former minister, very friend of Vargas Llosa, who justified the illegal war in Iraq and dares to speak of “cynicism” when the government that he recognizes murdered 67 people) answers my interview with The country saying a non-legal outrage on Twitter: that Castillo is in prison “purging his crimes.” It is surprising that a Minister of Justice makes such a serious mistake! Pretrial detention is not to purge a crime!, Mr. Minister! It is to alleviate a procedural risk, which is very different. Any law student knows this. It is basic criminal procedure law. Something basic, but that in Peru is not respected. (Judge Cesar San Martin, who signed the preventive order against Castillo, received and honored Gunter Jakobs at the Peruvian courthouse, a cultist of the enemy’s anti-liberal criminal law, which is used to reduce guarantees that we, with Zaffaroni, do defend !) Instead of answering my interviews in the international press, the minister should apologize to the parents and brothers of Rosalino Flores, assassinated during his government. “We are missing 70 brothers”, reads on the walls of Ayacucho. We are with them. We did not travel to Peru with Zaffaroni to be lawyers for anyone, as the press misinforms. We went to receive an honorary doctorate from Cusco (the same place where Rosalino was assassinated) But the people desperately asked us for help on the street. Andean women with tears of rage and pain held our hands. And we are going to give it to you. Because it is a sister town with which history unites us. And because one is a lawyer for that.

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