Deadly Peruvian protests

Violent clashes between protesters and security officials continue to break out across Peru over the ouster and arrest of President Pedro Castillo, with thousands calling for the resignation of his former vice president Dina Boluarte. 

Boluarte declared a state of emergency last Sunday due to the protests. The decree published in the official gazette, noted that the declaration allows Peru to use its military to quell the protests for the next 30 days.

Boluarte told protesters that she will not step down and said her commitment is to Peru.

Security forces in the country have been accused of using live ammunition on protesters while pro-government agencies insist that appropriate force has been used to try and disband these flare-ups. The country saw its bloodiest day on Monday when 17 people were killed in what some have described as a massacre. 

“These were extrajudicial killings,” he said.

Peru’s public prosecutor last week launched a preliminary investigation into genocide allegations against Boluarte, the BBC reported. 

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported on the protests that broke out in Peru after Castillo’s sudden fall. (See “PROTESTS CONTINUE TO RAGE IN PERU, DEATH TOLL RISES” 20 Dec 2022 and “DEADLY PROTESTS BREAK OUT IN PERU AS COUNTRY SEES SIXTH PRESIDENT IN SIX YEARS” 13 Dec 2022.)

Castillo, who is still in custody, was elected president in June 2021 as a political novice. He was a socialist and former school teacher. He defeated Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori who is serving a 25-year sentence for ordering extrajudicial killings. (See “CASTILLO WINS PERU PRES. RACE. LOSER CLAIMS ELECTION FRAUD” and “PERUVIANS FURTHER CEMENT OUR ‘NEW WORLD DISORDER’ TOP TREND FORECAST.”)

The protests strained the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has lashed out at Peru’s decision to put a state of emergency in place to squash protests and expressed his dismay when Lisa Kenna, the U.S. ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna met with Boluarte.

“Doesn’t it seem to you like a display of arrogance, a failure to respect how things are done?” he asked reporters, according to Reuters.

The report said Lopez Obrador later questioned if Washington was aware of what its officials were doing in Peru.

“It may even be that (U.S. Secretary of State Antony) Blinken of the State Department doesn’t know about it, and it was down to the embassy,” Lopez Obrador said, according to the report. “Because that’s how they’ve always done it, especially in Latin America.”

Killing Continues 

A 16-year-old who was shot during a protest on Thursday was counted as the 49th death.

The teen was identified only by his initials, B.A.J., The Associated Press reported. He was from Lake Titicaca in the Puno region. The governor from the region also called for Boluarte to step down.

Castillo supporters clashed with security officers in the city of Juliaca, which is near the border with Bolivia. Authorities said about 9,000 people took part in the demonstration. Alberto Otárola, the prime minister, told reporters that police faced an organized attack and that thousands of protesters attempted to overrun the city’s airport.

Last month, Peruvians took to the streets after the country swore in a new president after the downfall of Castillo, who won the presidency in 2021 as the anti-establishment pick.

Castillo wrote from prison: “I was chosen by the forgotten men and women deep in Peru, by the dispossessed who have been neglected for over 200 years.”

Castillo was accused by his detractors of conducting a failed coup attempt to stay in power. He had addressed the country in a televised address and said he planned to shut down Congress and “reorganize” the court system.

NPR noted that Castillo was facing a third impeachment trial on corruption charges and faced being ousted from office.

TREND FORECAST: Prior to the start of the COVID War, protests and demonstrations were breaking out in Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. 

In fact, in October 2019, riots in Peru broke out when its president, Martin Vizcarra, dissolved congress, which prompted opposition lawmakers to suspend him and appoint another leader.

When Boluarte was sworn in, she became her country’s sixth president in the past six years.

Throughout South America, as economic conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate, civil unrest will escalate into civil wars. With corruption, crime, and violence rising, millions of citizens will risk their lives to migrate to safe-haven nations.

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