About 10 riot police in full tactical gear stand on a highway facing protesters situated on a hill.

Peru protests: 100 days later, racist repression and slow investigations continue

One hundred days on from the start of social protests in Peru, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

“Despite repeated calls from the entire international community for the Peruvian authorities to stop once and for all widespread attacks marked by racist bias against people protesting in the country, particularly Indigenous and campesino (rural farmworkers) people, we’re still seeing that repression remains the only strategy adopted to deal with people’s demands. The authorities are responsible for the events that occurred under their command and have an obligation to ensure that protesters are not at risk of dying or being seriously injured just for expressing their discontent.”

Marina Navarro, executive director of Amnesty International Peru, added:

“It has been 100 days since the beginning of a very painful period for the country. Dozens of families are grieving or striving to support their loved ones who have been left with serious injuries. United, they have found the support and strength to demand professionalism from institutions that show no sign of having either the means or the will to ensure truth, justice and reparation. Today more than ever the Attorney General’s Office must take decisive steps to ensure impartial and thorough investigations, allocating sufficient resources and personnel to prevent impunity.”

More than 45 dead, thousands injured due to state repression of Peru protests

Since 7 December 2022, Peru has experienced further escalation of the continuing political crisis that the country has experienced for several years, following the power struggle between the Presidency, Congress and the Constitutional Court which led to the arrest of then-President Pedro Castillo and the swearing in of Vice-President Dina Boluarte as the new president.

These events sparked demonstrations in different parts of the country that have been violently repressed by the police and the military. So far, 48 people have died, reportedly due to the actions of the security forces, and thousands of people have been injured, several of them seriously, mostly in the southern regions of Ayacucho, Apurímac and Puno.

On 16 February, after deploying a regional crisis response team in the country, Amnesty International denounced the lethal and racially biased violence used against protesters, with the vast majority of those killed and seriously injured being Indigenous and campesino people.

The organization called on the authorities to change tactics in the policing of demonstrations, ending the use of lethal weapons and avoiding the unlawful use of less lethal weapons to disperse protests; to make adequate progress in prompt and thorough investigations into the events; to avoid stigmatizating protesters; and to ensure economic and psychological support for people affected by state violence and their families. It also urged the international community to take a more active role in calling on Peru to end the repression and ensure accountability for human rights violations.