Thousands of people from across Peru have streamed into the capital, Lima, and occupied the streets. Their principal demands are the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the formulation of a new, truly democratic, rights-based constitution.
Tear gas, police truncheons and some bullets are all they seem to have received for their troubles. Some 50 lives have been lost so far, and over 600 people have been injured.
It may be recalled that the trouble began on December 7, 2022, when former president Pedro Castillo was deposed after having attempted to dissolve Congress to forestall his impeachment for corruption. A week later, President Boluarte imposed an emergency to quell growing and widespread protests.
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada’s allies and partners in Peru had spoken out early on to roundly condemn the violence and urge all parties to work for a peaceful, people-centric resolution of the crisis.
The APG is a network of Canadian civil society organizations, including Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada, that work for human rights and social and environmental justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. The APG has written a letter to the Hon. Mélanie Joly, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, to urge the Government of Canada “to prioritize human rights” in Peru; to “speak up for the protection of the right to freedom of expression;” and to “publicly condemn the Peruvian State’s use of violence.”
Meanwhile, CIDSE, an international family of Catholic social justice organizations has also published a statement on the Peruvian situation (also available in Spanish). It condemns “the excessive and disproportionate use of public force against demonstrators and journalists” and demands “the immediate cessation of human rights violations.” As the sole Canadian member of CIDSE, we have also sent the statement to Minister Joly.