LIMA ( Associated Press) – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called for an end to violence in Peru after visiting the country and the southern regions where the most violent protests have taken place. He ordered an investigation into the deaths in the social upheaval before wrapping up a tour of the country on Friday to assess the state of the political crisis.
Peru has been locked in protests since December against the government of President Dina Boluarte since he took office after his predecessor, Pedro Castillo, tried to dissolve Congress to prevent his ouster. .
The IACHR urged the Peruvian authorities and regions in protest to seek a “comprehensive, genuine, inclusive dialogue” to effectively find a solution to the crisis.
After visiting Arequipa and Juliaca, the areas with the most protests, he tasked the state with investigating complaints of the use of excessive force by the police and military during days of demonstrations that have already killed nearly fifty people. . Also to clarify if there are violent areas that represent demonstrations.
“The Commission reminds that the State has a duty to conduct serious, fair and effective investigations in a timely manner by the Special Prosecutors and Special Prosecutors for Human Rights, as well as to prosecute and punish those responsible,” said Stuardo Ralon, Vice President said at a press conference of the IACHR.
He announced that in 30 days, the IACHR would issue its report on what happened in Peru. The mission has been in Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Juliaca (Puno region), Ayacucho and Cusco between December and January.
A mission from the Organization of American States (OAS), an entity to which the IACHR belongs, was also in Peru in November at the request of Pedro Castillo, former president to address the crisis of political instability in the government when he was still president. About that he was fired in December.
Ralon noted that most of the deaths occurred in the country’s southern regions, home to a majority indigenous and peasant population that suffers from structural social problems, such as exclusion and racism.
He highlighted the cases of Ayacucho and Puno, the two southern regions where the conflicts have been deadliest.
“According to the information received, it is reported that agents of the state used excessive force to thwart the attempt to capture the airport,” he noted regarding Ayacucho.
He said that, in the city of Juliaca, Puno, “according to the autopsies, these people died of gunshot wounds.”
“Considering the nature of the facts, it should have an ethno-racial focus and ultimate responsibilities by chain of command or who were the people who activated the firearms,” he said.
“An effort should be made to find out whether there are violent groups who, apart from the right to protest, may be distorting it or using the demonstration for other purposes that are far from it,” he added.
Shortly afterwards, Boluaarte swore in three new ministers, including the Minister of the Interior. Retired general Vicente Romero, who had already held that position in the government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, assumed the portfolio following criticism of police actions at the protests.
In addition to him, he appointed lawyer Luis Adriánzen as Minister of Labor after Eduardo García resigned the day before over his rejection of the official handling of the demonstrations.
She also changed the Minister of Women, appointing Nancy Tolentino, following the resignation of her predecessor, Gracia Rojas, because of disagreements with Boluaarte’s decisions on the crisis.
The ombudsman’s office reported at 4:30 p.m. on Friday that mobilisations, strikes and road blockades were ongoing in 44 provinces, most of them in the southern regions of the country.
In addition, it recorded 83 blockade points on national roads and violently stormed and set fire to a water pump belonging to the Antapaque company in the southern region of Cusco.
Former United States Ambassador to Peru and Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian A. Nichols expressed his regret for the political and social situation in the country.
“We are deeply concerned by the violence in Peru and grieve for the injured and those who lost their lives. All Peruvians deserve to live in peace and democracy. We look forward to the commitments announced by the government to address the country’s challenges,” the senior US official said on his Twitter account.
The protests – which demand the advancing of general elections, the resignation of Boluaarte and the shutdown of Congress – have resumed this week, after a partial ceasefire due to end-of-year holidays on Wednesday the 4th. gained new momentum. With Castillo’s removal, political instability in Peru has already claimed five presidents in six years.
Among those demanding the resignation of the president, the shutdown of Congress and new elections are those who also demand that Castillo, Boluaarte’s predecessor, who was dismissed and placed on preventive detention for 18 months while investigating an alleged insurrection, be in custody.
Boluaarte took over the government after Castillo, who was president through 2021, was ousted by Congress on December 7 after trying to dissolve the state’s power with a televised message. The current President was the Vice President and was elected on the same list with his predecessor. Parliament swore him in on the same day that Castillo was deposed as his constitutional successor.
Castillo was arrested while he was in a vehicle with his entourage on an avenue in the center of Lima. According to the prosecutor’s office, he was on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek political asylum.