Peru protests against Boluarte: 53 deaths since political convulsions began

Peru protests against Boluarte: 53 deaths since political convulsions began

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Protests are continuing in Peru against President Dina Boluarte. This concerns the ousting of former leader President Pedro Castillo. Therefore, with at least 53 deaths since the political convulsions began, it seems inevitable that tensions will continue until Boluarte steps down – or, somehow, a compromise can be made between Boluarte, Castillo, and all vested parties who oppose the ousting of Castillo. 

Many indigenous people in the south of the country are hostile to Boluarte – and other politicians and institutions – involved in the ousting of Castillo. Accordingly, they demand that Castillo be released from prison, Boluarte resigns, security apparatus become neutral – alongside new elections. 

France 24 reports, “Thousands of protesters in Peru, many from the country’s heavily indigenous south, descended on Lima, the capital, on Thursday, angered by a mounting death toll since unrest erupted last month and calling for sweeping change.”

The Guardian said, the leader of Peru “… rejected the possibility of calling a constitutional assembly as demanded by protesters, pointing to the difficulties Peru’s neighbor Chile has had in drafting and approving a new constitution.”

Boluarte said, “To the Peruvian people, to those who want to work in peace and to those who generate acts of protest I say: I will not get tired of calling them to a good dialogue, to tell them that we work for the country.”

Yet she warned that people who use violence, attack airports, and seek chaos: then, they will face “all the rigor of the law.”

For protesters, it is the state apparatus that is utilizing violence by killing people, arresting protesters, and supporting the State of Emergency that bans the right to assembly. 

One protester told the BBC, “Our military and police, rather than defending us, are killing us. It hurts so much. How can they kill us for rising up to defend our country? We’ve never robbed our country. We only want to improve our lives to build a better country.”

Richard Hancco, the Governor of Puno, said, “How many more deaths will Dina Boluarte’s presence in the presidency cost?”

Somehow all sides need to reach a compromise. This might entail that Boluarte steps down – or Boluarte and Castillo reach an agreement to stem the political crisis. 

If not, the blood will keep flowing – and the indigenous will further feel alienated in Peru.

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