The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said on Wednesday that Peruvian police forces committed “extrajudicial executions” during demonstrations following the failed coup and ouster of former president Pedro Castillo, and that it was a “massacre”. It would be inspired by ethnic-racial motives.
“Deaths committed by state agents may amount to extrajudicial executions,” the Washington-based agency said in a wide-ranging report on the country’s human rights record.
The organization, which is part of the Inter-American system of human rights in the orbit of the Organization of American States (OAS), confirmed that in Peru there was a “general deterioration of the public debate with strong stigmatization due to ethnic-racial factors.” and regional, as well as strong tensions between Lima and other regions where indigenous and peasant populations predominate.”
The protests began in December after the release of Castillo, who is serving a pre-trial detention in Barbadillo prison. Since assuming the presidency of Peru, the indigenous leader and teacher unionist has lived in danger of being displaced by a Congress dominated by various right-wing factions. On December 7, 2022, Castillo announced that he was resigning from Parliament and ruling under a state of emergency, which ended with his dismissal from office in what was described as an attempted “self-coup”.
Immediately, the population with the highest rate of indigenous population became the epicenter of protests and complaints, which were repressed by the government of Dina Boluarte, Castillo’s vice president, who took office in alliance with the right-wing opposition Arch in his place. The events killed more than 50 people and injured thousands.
The Ayacucho (South) section was the scene of a protest in which several demonstrators tried to take over the airport of the city of the same name. The army opened fire on them, killing eight people and wounding 26 others.
The agency also points to the events in Iuliaka, where 17 protesters were killed in clashes with police in January, which residents called a hunt.
Since these are multiple deprivations of the right to life, given the conditions, time and place, they can be classified as massacres.”
“There were situations of excessive and indiscriminate use of force by state agents in this city, which resulted in serious human rights violations against both protestors and third parties,” police said. IACHR in its report.
“Since these are multiple deprivations of the right to life, given the conditions, time and place, they can be classified as massacres,” the agency said.
The investigation covers the period from December 7 to January 23. The report said that “the response of state forces was not uniform across the national territory” and that “there were serious episodes of excessive use of force in specific cases”.
“tion from Lima, Ica, Arequipa and Cusco shows that the state’s response was characterized by disproportionate, indiscriminate and lethal use of force. This is confirmed by factors such as the large number of dead and injured with upper body injuries,” he added.
The report was presented at a virtual press conference this Wednesday, in which IACHR President Margaret May Macaulay called on Dina Bolwarte’s government to investigate the incident.
“The serious human rights violations condemned in this report must be intelligently investigated by specialized human rights prosecutors.” In addition, what happened should be judged by independent, competent and impartial judges, within a reasonable time and with due process guarantees,” he said.
After an investigation, the “perpetrators” should be “subjected to appropriate criminal sanctions” and “victims of human rights violations should be fully redressed.”
“Overcoming the crisis requires dialogue and effective agreements within the framework of the rule of law, a broad, genuine and inclusive dialogue, with an intercultural and territorial approach, where all sectors of society feel represented,” added Macaulay, who called for action. should be adopted to strengthen democratic institutions in the country.
In the report, the agency details a series of actions it believes the government should take to tackle the crisis. The first is a dialogue with affected parties, and especially local groups, who demand greater political participation.
The IACHR also asks the government to refrain from adopting legislative or constitutional reforms that weaken the autonomy and independence of the national electoral system or the judiciary, as well as to “determine constitutionally impeachable figures, the vacancy of the president due to permanent moral incapacity and unilateralism.” Dissolution of Congress so that they may determine (…) punishable acts and their corresponding consequences”.
The commission emphasizes that social discontent is not an isolated phenomenon, but is rooted in “structural inequality and historical discrimination, particularly against indigenous peoples and peasant communities in the southern provinces of the country.”
Source: El Diario