Above Photo: De facto president of Perú, Dina Boluarte. Martin Mejia / AP.
This Tuesday, January 10, the Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office ordered a preliminary investigation to be initiated against the de facto president, Dina Boluarte, for crimes of genocide, qualified homicide, and serious injuries, regarding the protests that have shaken the country after the ousting of Pedro Castillo as head of state.
Several members of Boluarte’s cabinet will also be investigated, including the president of the council of ministers, Alberto Otárola, minister of the interior, Víctor Rojas, and minister of defense, Jorge Chávez, will also be investigated. In addition, the body ordered an investigation against Pedro Angulo, as former president of the council of ministers, and César Cervantes, as former minister of the interior.
The measure will be applied in relation to “the alleged crimes of genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries,” committed during the demonstrations in the months of December 2022 and January 2023, across the regions of Apurímac, La Libertad, Puno, Junín, Arequipa, and Ayacucho. Since the beginning of the national protests last December—which demand Boluarte’s resignation, the closure of Congress, early elections, constituent assembly and the release of President Pedro Castillo—the death toll has reached 46 so far.
This Monday, Boluarte stated that she does not understand the reasons for the protests in the department of Puno, during which at least 18 people have died and over 112 have been injured so far in massacres of police repression. “In protest of what? It is not clear what they are asking for,” she said. “It is a pretext to continue generating chaos in the cities.”
Puno rejects the massacre
Hundreds of inhabitants in the city of Juliaca, Puno, took to the streets this Tuesday after the massacre that occurred the day before. The Juliaca community repudiated the 18 deaths and the hundred-plus injured amidst rejections of the brutal repression by security forces. The association of funeral homes of the city donated coffins for those who died in the massacre. “We stand in solidarity with the brothers who fell in the fight for freedom, and for the resignation of Dina Boluarte,” a member of the aforementioned association told local media.
This Wednesday morning, 19 coffins were placed outside the Carlos Monge Medrano Hospital, the main medical center to which people injured by the protests in the vicinity of the Inca Manco Capac Airport have been transferred. So far, authorities have only confirmed 18 deaths. At least 34 people remain hospitalized at the Carlos Monge Medrano Hospital, as confirmed on Tuesday by the San Román Health Network.
Amid outrage over the 18 fatalities—and the total balance of 46 deaths since the start of the national protests last December—the de facto government of Boluarte announced on Tuesday a curfew in the city of Puno for three days, from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.