Lima (EFE) the country has been fueled by racism and criminalization against indigenous and peasant communities.
“Indeed, serious human rights violations are being committed in Peru. These are generalized attacks on the population, with the intention of punishing and silencing people who exercise their legitimate right to protest,” said AI’s director for the Americas, Erika Guevara, during the presentation of the mission’s preliminary findings. that investigates the Peruvian crisis.
Guevara insisted that the “excessive and disproportionate use of force” by law enforcement, which included “illegitimate use of lethal weapons and less lethal weapons indiscriminately,” has left a “fatal and tragic” balance, which “It deepens the systemic racism that exists in the State authorities.”
“The Peruvian authorities have allowed, for more than two months, the excessive and lethal use of force to be the Government’s only response to the social outcry of thousands of communities that today demand dignity and a political system that guarantees their human rights” , he asserted.
The organization highlighted that the protests broke out in southern regions, the “most marginalized in the country”, whose population, mostly indigenous, has been “historically subjected to discrimination and inequality.”
He highlighted, in this sense, that while the departments with the largest indigenous population represent 13% of the Peruvian population, they concentrate 80% of the total deaths registered since the beginning of the crisis, last December.
“It is no coincidence that dozens of people told AI that they felt the authorities treated them like animals and not human beings. Systemic racism rooted in Peruvian society and its authorities for decades, has been the engine of violence exerted as punishment against communities that have raised their voices,” AI collected in a statement.
These facts, warned Guevara, “could constitute extrajudicial executions, which is a crime under international law, which has responsibilities, not only for whoever pulled the trigger but also for whoever gave the order.”
Flaws in the justice of Peru
After denouncing the attacks on the press during the coverage of the social mobilizations, AI mentioned the “criminalization” of the protest through speeches that affirm without evidence that there are links to terrorism and criminal groups and through cases such as the eviction of protesters from the University National Mayor of San Marcos, in Lima, whose operation reported “possible cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”
Guevara also warned that “there are indications that the judicial system could be used inappropriately to persecute and silence people who participate in the protests.”
In this sense, he expressed his “great concern” at the lack of “resources, capacity and expertise” of the regional prosecutors’ offices that could lead to “impunity”.
For this reason, among the preliminary recommendations of its investigation, AI urges the Public Ministry to advance “promptly and exhaustively” in the identification of possible perpetrators of human rights violations up to the highest level.
The organization also called on the authorities to end the use of lethal force, as well as stigmatization and “structural racial discrimination”.
“We reiterate our call to the interim president Dina Boluarte and the rest of the State authorities to put an end to the repression, attend to the legitimate demands of those who protest, and guarantee that the State complies with its obligation to investigate all human rights violations committed. by the security forces and bring those found responsible to justice,” he concluded.
The AI mission sent to Peru traveled to the southern departments of Ayacucho, Apurímac and Cuzco between January 29 and February 11 and met with senior officials, including Boluarte, and multiple representatives of the security forces, prosecutors, journalists and civil society organizations, injured and relatives of the fatalities of the protests, which amount to 70, according to various sources.