Report: Peruvian Government Crackdown On Protesters May Have Been 'Massacre'
On Wednesday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report claiming that the Peruvian government's response to nationwide protests following the arrest of former Pres. Pedro Castillo in December may qualify as a "massacre."
- On Wednesday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report claiming that the Peruvian government's response to nationwide protests following the arrest of former Pres. Pedro Castillo in December may qualify as a "massacre."1
- It established that 57 people died in the demonstrations, citing episodes in which security forces indiscriminately used excessive force against multiple victims, some of whom were not even participating in the protests.2
- The IACHR focused its investigation into the protests — mainly led by indigenous peoples and peasant communities — on the cities of Ayacucho and Juliaca, where, the commission said, a total of 28 civilians were killed during security force operations in December and January.3
- Margarette May Macaulay, the head of the IACHR — a human rights branch of the Organization of American States (OAS) — stated that the deaths during the anti-government protests could amount to extrajudicial killings, a claim promptly rejected by Peruvian Pres. Dina Boluarte.4
- The Commission drew on interviews and information gathered on site during a three-day working visit carried out in mid-January, as well as supplementary data from official sources following the visit that analyzed the events that took place from Dec. 7 to Jan. 23.5
- The seven-member IACHR is an autonomous, consultive body of the OAS whose mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.5
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2ANDINA, 3Washington Post, 4Reuters, and 5OAS.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by World Socialist Web Site. Through its brutal actions, the Boluarte regime has forfeited any legitimacy to lead the country. Even curfews failed to prevent impoverished Peruvians from standing up for Castillo and democracy. The fury over this is justified, especially as it was allegedly the US that orchestrated the coup against Castillo to secure its corporate and geopolitical interests. It is time for US imperialism and its increasingly repressive Peruvian puppet government to accept reality and return Peru to the Peruvians.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by El País. While it is true that security forces may have escalated the crackdown beyond what was rightfully needed to quell vandalism and looting at the time, it must be stressed that it was the former Marxist Pres. Castillo who wreaked havoc in Peru. He carried out a failed coup attempt to undermine democracy after governing in a chaotic manner, thereby giving his vice president Boluarte the right to continue his remaining term.
- Narrative C, as provided by Americas Quarterly. Boluarte's government has proven that it is willing to use brute force to crush social unrest, and yet she is not unlikely to fulfill her term in office to 2026. This is due to the weak organization of the political class across the political spectrum, a lack of a clear and pragmatic political goal for the protests, and the inability of the political left to form a social movement based on the highly mobilized population. With or without Boluarte at the helm, Peru and its fragile democracy face an uncertain future.