Lima. The Peruvian government’s use of excessive force has led to the deaths of more than 60 Peruvians during three months of protests, Clement Voule, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, said on Wednesday. President Dina Boluarte.
In early May, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported in a report that the Peruvian military and police had committed massacres, extrajudicial executions, serious human rights violations as well as a disproportionate and lethal use of force during the protests.
“The excessive and disproportionate use of force during the protests that began in December resulted in deaths and injuries to protesters and people in the vicinity,” Wooley told reporters at the end of a 10-day working visit. Meetings with the President, protesters and relatives of the victims.
Voule, a Togolese-born lawyer and diplomat, said Peru “must guarantee victims access to justice, treatment, restitution and compensation, even assuming the cost of medical treatment for the injured.”
He said at another time, “Peru is in a very serious situation … There is a lack of trust in its institutions.”
He indicated that after visiting prisons, speaking with government ministers, the police, military, prosecutors and judges, he had found no evidence that the protesters “are terrorists.”
“They are demonstrators,” he said. Peruvian justice confirmed in May 18 months in preventive prison for four protesters while their affiliation was being investigated for alleged crimes or links to a terrorist organization.
“This stigma of being a terrorist should not be used,” he said. Four other protesters in the city of Cusco were sentenced in January to nine months in pre-trial detention for offenses of rioting and obstructing the operation of public services.
The reporter said he found “no evidence” that the protesters used firearms.
Demonstrations against Boluarte began on 7 December after Congress ousted his predecessor, Pedro Castillo, who is now in prison for three years amid an investigation into corruption and insurgency. According to the ombudsman’s office, 49 civilians were killed by security forces in the protests that ended in February. Another 11 civilians died in traffic accidents or roadblocks by protesters. Seven uniformed officers were also killed.
Voule indicated that in trying to find the reasons for the protests that started in the southern Peruvian Andes, he found people who “feel overwhelmed by the corruption in the country and call for a real fight against corruption,” precisely those In areas where Peru has wealth, including the mining of copper, a metal that goes to China and of which the country is the second largest exporter in the world.