ANDAHUAYLAS, Peru ( Associated Press) — The first two victims of protests for new elections in Peru, President Dina Boluarte and the resignation of parliament, were minor schoolchildren who died yesterday during heavy clashes with police in the Andean city.
The coffins of 15-year-old David Atequipa and 17-year-old Beckham Quispe were carried through the streets on Monday with more than three thousand companions. Some carried Peruvian flags, others were classmates of the deceased. The Associated Press confirmed the ages and identities of the victims with officials and family members.
“The Peruvian president and the congressman are to blame,” said Raquel Quispe, the 23-year-old sister of one of the dead and a graduate in education for children. “My brother was not a murderer, he was not a thief, he was a young athlete, I want justice for my brother,” he said, accompanied by his mother Rosario, who said in Quechua that her son had been killed “in a slaughterhouse.” ” ,
Beckham Quispe and David Atquipa died on Sunday during clashes with police in a town near the city of Andahuallas, where the government said the Huancabamba police station along with the airport was set on fire. The farmers’ desperation began when the police sent riot police to quell the demonstrations.
Forensics indicated that Atequipa and Quispe died of head injuries. A 15-year-old schoolboy received a bullet wound under the chin, while the autopsy of the second victim is still unknown. Quispe’s family showed Associated Press images and video of the deceased with a split skull, revealing a brain mass.
Schoolmates brought flowers and white signs along with letters that read Justice for David. On another was written “Dina Boluaert Traitor.”
Protests broke out in Peru on Wednesday following the dismissal of then-President Pedro Castillo on grounds of “permanent moral incapacity”. Earlier Castillo unsuccessfully sought to dissolve parliament and impose an emergency government to rewrite the constitution. A president can close Congress, but only after two refusals of a vote of confidence in his cabinet, which did not happen.
Raquel Quispe pointed out that they feel anger and resentment against parliament because they ousted former president Pedro Castillo, who they had elected as president in 2021. , they do what they want, for them, the vote of the provincial people is worthless”, he remarked.
Castillo is being held in a prison for presidents in Lima accused of a new crime, rebellion, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. It also has six preliminary inquiries for alleged corruption.
On Monday, the Chincheros prosecutor’s office was set on fire, in addition to strong demonstrations in Andahuellas during the transfer of coffins through the streets of the city. Anduillas and Chincheros are in the Apurimac area. Other protests took place in Arequipa, a major city in southern Peru, where protesters briefly entered the airport.
Peru has had six presidents in the last six years, including three in a single week in 2020, when Congress exercised its impeachment powers.
Amid protests, thousands of communities in the Andes suffer from the worst drought in half a century. The country of more than 33 million people is also facing a fifth wave of COVID infections, having recorded nearly 4.3 million infections and 217,000 deaths since the pandemic began.