Peru: We request the intervention of UN human rights protection mechanisms

(January 17, 2023) The Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations CLOC – Via Campesina, expresses its concern about the human rights violations that are being provoked in Peru in the context of the political crisis generated by the impeachment of President Pedro Castillo.

Actions of repression and criminalization of social protest are increasing in the country. Following the state of emergency decree issued by the Executive on December 14, 2022, the excessive use of force by state agents through the use of firearms to contain social mobilizations has so far resulted in the death of at least 49 demonstrators, including minors, and nearly 500 injured. Repression by law enforcement agents is reaching such a level of intensity that in a single day, the 9th of January, 17 demonstrators were killed.

Serious acts of criminalization and delegitimization of the peasant and popular movement are taking place, such as what happened on December 17, when a group of eighty members of the anti-terrorist unit of the Peruvian national police raided the headquarters of the Confederación Campesina del Perú (CCP) in Lima, a member organization of La Vía Campesina and the CLOC, arresting 26 leaders and peasants of the organization. These peasants, mostly from Quechua regions, were in Lima to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression and political association. In addition to being detained longer than permitted by law, they had limited access to lawyers and translators, and after their release they are still being investigated for “terrorism”.

We call for an end to violence and state repression against the social movement that legitimately defends its demands, as well as the restoration of democratic and legal order in the country, ensuring popular participation in political processes and in present and future decision-making.

We request the verification of the human rights situation in Peru, particularly of the peasant and indigenous communities leading the protests. We request the intervention of UN mechanisms and bodies to guarantee the protection of the rights of peasants and other civilians who are mobilizing in the country.

Globalize the struggle, globalize the hope!