Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Peru: Minister declares “genocide”, protests continue

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola testified Monday in a preliminary prosecutor’s investigation into “massacre” following deaths during protests. Mobilizations to demand early elections and the resignation of both President Dina Boluaarte and members of parliament continued for more than a month.

The investigation – which began on 10 January and also includes other crimes such as qualified murder and grievous hurt – also includes President Boluaarte. According to the Office of the Ombudsman, 56 people have been killed and more than 900 injured in the protests so far.

Almost all of the dead are civilians. Most received projectiles from firearms and some of the victims were shot in the head.

Due to the rank of the investigators, the one in charge of the investigation is Attorney General Patricia Benavides. Genocide is punishable by a minimum prison term of 20 years. The inquiry also includes former Prime Minister Pedro Angulo and other former ministers.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights last week urged the Peruvian government to receive complaints of excessive force and conduct an impartial investigation following the results of an autopsy performed by the Department of Legal Medicine, which found he had been shot in the head and in the body. Chests of those killed in the protests. The IACHR condemned the violence and urged the parties to open a dialogue to end the conflict.

Roadblocks and protests continued on Monday in various parts of the country, including in the coastal region of Ica, in parallel with the prosecutor’s investigation against members of the government. Protesters blocked the movement of workers of agri-export companies and burned an outpost of one of them exporting grapes, pomegranates and blueberries.

TV video showed police officers with civilians armed with baseball bats confronting protesters who were blocking a main road in Ica.

Police fired dozens of tear gas shells at protesters blocking a road in the Rancho area of ​​Huanuco region.

Clashes with tear gas continued in the streets of the capital’s center, where thousands of protesters from different parts of the Andes arrived last week.

Leaders of the protesters in Lima indicated that they would continue to protest. Alberto Yucra, who came from the valley of the Apurimac, Ani and Mantaro (Vrem) rivers in central Peru, attacked President Boluaarte, saying that “he is the ringleader of the murderers.” He challenged the opposition to maintain: “If they want war, they will have war.”

In a press conference with other regional leaders, Yucra recalled that between 1980 and 2000 the peasants defeated the Maoist group Sendero Luminoso, which bloodied the Andes and the Amazon while seeking to seize power to impose a totalitarian dictatorship. Took a bath

Boluaarte has said he supports the plan to move the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 2026 to 2024. But many dissidents say that no possible talks with the government have, they say, fueled so much violence.

Protests have escalated to such an extent that protesters are now also demanding structural reform in the face of a growing crisis of confidence in the ruling elite. The mobilization followed the arrest of Pedro Castillo, the first deposed president of rural origin who had been removed from office by Congress after a failed attempt to dissolve parliament.

Nation World News Desk
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