The people of Peru took to the streets this Wednesday and Thursday to demand the resignation of the main leaders of President Dina Boluarte’s regime, the advancement of general elections, and the restitution of democracy in the Andean nation. More than 20,000 Peruvians are the protagonists of the Great March of the Peoples, the Takeover of Peru. They want a change, and they want it now. The anti-government protests reactivated four months after the long wave of social anger that convulsed Peru between last December and March, following the coup against left-wing former president Pedro Castillo. According to the Ombudsman’s Office, over the past two days, there were marches in 59 provinces and road blockades in 64, which represents 32.7% of the territories nationwide.
Wednesday, during the so-called National Day of Struggle, protests were felt the strongest in the Puno region, an area characterized by the autonomy of its social and community-based organizations, a bastion of the demonstrations held between December and March last.
In Lima protestors took over the San Martin Square in one of the concentrations of the Third Takeover of Lima, chanting “dina-assesina” while performing skits that made allusions to the police brutality unleashed by the Boluarte Regime.
In Dos de Mayo Square, a young leader repeated on his loudspeaker: “the people left Castillo alone, a humble man like us,” according to local press reports. Two cardboard coffins were placed there showing the names of the 49 civilians killed by police earlier this year.
“We are in the streets with forceful but peaceful demonstrations. Our voice has to be heard,” Santos Saavedra Vasquez, president of the Sole National Central of Peasant Rounds of Peru (CUNARC), emphasized.
Although the protests have been primarily peaceful, police brutality has left at least 11 injured, including several journalists. Meanwhile, authorities widely praised the constraint of law enforcement.
In Huancavelica some people threw stones and returned tear gas canisters at the Peruvian National Police (PNP) who were repressing them.
Today, Peru is two different countries; the one that is struggling for justice in the streets and the one that the president wants to show as a willing neo liberal colony. In her Twitter account, she highlights meetings with mayors, official acts, and the image of a textile industry businessman who claims to work daily “because the country cannot be paralyzed.” But the message from the Peruvian people is forceful: “We will not stop until they are all gone.”