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Peruvian President Dina Boluarte and several senior officials are the subject of a preliminary investigation for “genocide” after the deadly repression of demonstrations against power, the prosecution announced on Tuesday. For its part, the government has decreed a three-day curfew in the Puno region, the epicenter of the protests.
Peru’s prosecutor’s office on Tuesday (January 10th) announced a “genocide” investigation against the country’s President Dina Boluarte and several senior officials, for their role in the repression of anti-government protests that have killed 40 people since December.
State Attorney Patricia Benavides “decided to open a preliminary investigation against President Dina Boluarte, President of the Council of Ministers Alberto Otarola, Interior Minister Victor Rojas, Defense Minister Jorge Chavez “, announced the prosecution on Twitter.
This investigation concerns acts of “genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries, committed during the demonstrations of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Punon, Junin, Arequipa and Ayacucho”, he said. he adds.
The investigation also targets the ex-president of the Council of Ministers Pedro Angulo and the ex-Minister of the Interior César Cervantes, who had been part of the government of Dina Boluarte from December 7 to 21. A total of 22 people died in protests during those two weeks.
Unlimited strike and curfew
At least 40 people have died and more than 600 have been injured in protests following the December 7 impeachment and arrest of leftist President Pedro Castillo, accused of a coup attempt for attempting to dissolve parliament that was about to oust him from power. The demonstrators demand, among other things, the departure of Dina Boluarte, who succeeded Pedro Castillo, and the immediate holding of early elections, already advanced from 2026 to April 2024.
The epicenter of the protests is the Aymara (Amerindian people) region of Puno, on the border with Bolivia and on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where an indefinite strike has been in effect since January 4 and where there have been serious clashes and looting. The government decreed a three-day curfew in the Puno region on Tuesday after 18 people died in protests since Monday.
Peru is due to receive a mission from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Wednesday, dispatched to the country to investigate the protests and the response of law enforcement.
Protests continued on Tuesday with road blockades in six regions of the country. In the region of Ayacucho, in the southern Andes, thousands of people marched through the streets of the town of Huamanga.
In a statement on Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Office said it was “very concerned about the escalation of violence in Peru”. He called on “protesters to show restraint” and the police to “ensure that force is only used when strictly necessary”.
“We are in the hands of barbarism”, denounced the cardinal and archbishop of Huancayo, Pedro Barreto, on RPP radio, while the people’s ombudsman, Eliana Revollar, considered that “the violence is really reaching unsuspected levels”. .
Peru’s government was seeking a vote of confidence in the right-wing parliament on Tuesday, a constitutional requirement to stay in office.