Peru: Amnesty International documents excessive use of force by National Police

Through the immediate verification of audiovisual evidence, Amnesty International has confirmed the veracity of material showing the excessive and unnecessary use of force by the National Police in the demonstrations related to the political crisis that has gripped Peru.

“The videos that Amnesty International has digitally verified are strong evidence of the violence that the police are using against the population they should be protecting,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

According to the information received, more than 15 people have been injured, at least three of them seriously wounded by firearms, since 10 November 2020, mostly in the massive protests that took place yesterday in several cities across the country.

Amnesty International has also received reports of arbitrary arrests by National Police officers in civilian clothes who refused to identify themselves, and of ill-treatment by the security forces.

The National Police has reported that eleven police officers were injured by blunt objects, and said an unspecified number of people were detained for “disturbances, aggression and resistance to authority”.

In the incidents that Amnesty International has been able to verify, police officers fired ammunition, launched tear gas, and beat or violently subdued people in an unnecessary and disproportionate manner, injuring them and violating international human rights standards.

On the night of 12 November, several police officers fired directly at people during a demonstration in the vicinity of Lima’s Superior Court of Justice. In one video, agents formed a barrier and fired unidentified ammunition on four occasions, while one of them shouted “Kill him, kill him”. In another video of the same incident, the same group of officers fired several times at a group of people, and in another video an officer fired at close range in the direction of a group of people.

“This political crisis is generating a human rights crisis due to the violent repression of the protests. The authorities must prioritize the protection of the population over any political interest,” said Marina Navarro, executive director of Amnesty International Peru.

The authorities must immediately stop the repression of demonstrations, guarantee the right to peaceful protest and investigate promptly, thoroughly, independently and impartially all allegations of human rights violations during the current crisis, particularly those committed by the security forces.

Amnesty International stresses that the role of journalists and human rights defenders is fundamental in this context and strongly condemns the reports of threats and acts of intimidation against members of the National Human Rights Coordinating Committee. At least four journalists have been injured during the repression of the protests.

Finally, the organization calls on the judicial authorities not to apply the Police Protection Law (No. 3110), which, in violation of international human rights law, leaves open the possibility that the excessive use of force by the National Police will be met with impunity.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Lucy Scholey, Media Relations Officer, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-853-2142,  

Read more:

Peru: Human rights cannot be sacrificed in the political crisis (Research, 10 November 2020)