On a day in which the radicals of the extreme left have again called for a march in Lima, five days after the violent demonstration last Thursday, the president Dina Boluarte offered a press conference for the foreign press accredited in Peru.
In her first words, the president stated that “this is not a peaceful protest, it is a violent action generated by a group of radical people whose political and economic agenda is based on drug trafficking, illegal mining, and smuggling.” In addition, she blamed the large economic losses suffered by the country on the demonstrations and roadblocks. In the production sector, she estimated these losses at more than 2,000 million soles (about 470 million euros) and at 3,000 million soles (about 710 million euros) due to attacks on infrastructures such as airports, highways or police stations, among others.
He also wanted to address the former coup president Pedro Castillo: “Here there is no victim, Mr. Castillo, here is a country that is bleeding as a result of your irresponsibility. Here is a woman who is a victim of your hatred and revenge, here is a woman just like you, a provincial who also comes from a school with adobe walls, but having studied in that humble school does not give me the prerogative to corrupt and steal from the Peruvian people”.
He said that “at some point I have been part of the protests and I have marched for just labor or student demands, but I believe that the right to protest cannot be accompanied by violence, destruction and death.” For this reason, he asked the Prosecutor’s Office “to speed up the investigations because he tells us that the deaths of that January 9 in Puno, in the vicinity of the streets, most of them are due to the impact of an artisanal weapon called ‘dumdum’ and the Police don’t use those lethal weapons.” Regarding the latter, he said that “unofficially” he learned that “through the border of Peru with Bolivia they have entered” these weapons brought by the “red ponchos”, a group close to the former Bolivian president Evo Moraleswho has been pointed out as one of the main instigators of the violent marches in southern Peru.
Regarding the attempts at dialogue, he pointed out that “we have sent our minister to Puno three weeks ago and the governor has not wanted to receive him, nor the prosecutor. Then we have sent a high-level commission that did not prosper.” He explained that “today, before coming to talk with you, I have met with the mayors of Huánuco and other regions and other meetings are underway with ministers of Housing, Transportation, Health, etc. They are looking for the governors to talk with us, but above all, the governors of the south have been blackmailed and threatened”. He also revealed that “in Andahuaylas mayors and governors are threatened with burning their homes and their families if they do not go out to the protests.”
Finally, Boluarte clarified that “I am not going to get tired of calling for dialogue, peace and unity” and added: “I call on my beloved country for a national truce so that I can start the dialogue tables and, even better, to be able to set the agenda for each region and develop our towns”.