As the political crisis in Perú deepens eight months after the parliamentary coup that ousted Pedro Castillo and threw the South American country into the bloodiest period it has seen in decades, the US militarization of the country intensifies. From August 7-12th, de facto Peruvian Defense Minister Jorge Chávez traveled to Washington DC to “update bilateral military agreements” between the two nations. He met with various officials in the Defense Department, including the US Undersecretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Daniel P. Erikson, the head of the National Guard, General Dan Hokanson; and the Director of the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, Paul J. Angelo, and the Inter-American Defense College .
July 28th 2023 marked the 202nd anniversary of the liberation of Perú from Spanish colonial rule by José de San Martin. Typically, the country would be celebrating its Fiestas Patrias in grand style with parades and parties that last several days. This year, the mood is somber because the Peruvian masses believe there is nothing to celebrate. Families of the martyrs of the Dina Boluarte coup regime and their supporters marked the day by gathering outside Congress while the de facto leader gave perhaps the longest speech in recent Peruvian history. On behalf of the state, Boluarte apologized to the families of those killed during protests.
Peruvians are currently in the streets to oust the unelected regime led by Dina Boluarte, reinstate the democratically-elected Castillo, replace the unrepresentative Congress with a Constituent Assembly that can rewrite the Fujimori-era Constitution, and get justice for the more than 80 Peruvians killed and thousands injured and imprisoned since the start of the coup on 7 December 2022. In the leadup to the July 19th mobilization, Peruvian National Police erected identification and search checkpoints, targeting individuals and buses entering Lima, including from the PanAmerican South Highway. Days before the National March, the police also held a military style parade through the center of Lima.
This Saturday, thousands of Peruvians faced severe police hostility while taking part in the great national march against the government of Dina Boluarte, marking the context of the third Seizure of Lima. The demonstrators convened at various locations across Lima, including Dos de Mayo and Bolognesi Squares. From these points, they initiated a march towards the seat of the Congress, voicing slogans of discontent towards both the executive and legislative bodies. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, the Peruvian Police deployed tear gas against a group of demonstrators who were making their way from Abancay Avenue into San Martin Square.
The National Unitary Coordination Platform of Struggle (CNUL), composed of several Peruvian social movements, called for a new march on Saturday to demand the resignation of de facto President Dina Boluarte. The platform of social movements announced that Saturday, July 22, will be a day of peaceful struggle, with marches in working class neighborhoods of the northern, southern and eastern parts of Lima, and in other regions of the country. On Wednesday, July 19, marchers from all over the country took over the capital and 59 other provinces, and the CNUL plans to continue the same during July 24-29.
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.
Thousands of workers, Indigenous people, students, artists, peasants, and left activists are preparing to take the streets on July 19 in Peru’s capital Lima. The mobilization, called the “Third Takeover of Lima,” has been called for by a broad coalition of trade unions, peasant and Indigenous organizations, left parties and organizations, and artistic groups in an effort to continue the struggle against the coup regime of Dina Boluarte. Since the coup against President Pedro Castillo on December 7, 2022, the people of Peru have been on the streets in defense of their vote and have raised clear political demands for an immediate solution to the political and institutional crisis.
As the parliamentary coup against Pedro Castillo heads into its seventh month, the popular uprising against the Boluarte dictatorship has remained mobilized in the streets and organized by neighborhoods and regions, with a major mobilization coming up on July 19th. But as protesters continue to make their voices heard, Congress has entrenched its powers even deeper into state institutions, giving it free reign and enacting what people have called a congressional dictatorship with Boluarte as a puppet leader. Late last month, the Constitutional Tribunal gave Congress the sole power in votes of confidence and impeachment procedures.
As the Boluarte coup regime continues to dig its heels in six months after the parliamentary coup by the Fujimori right-wing Congress ousted democratically elected president Pedro Castillo, there has yet to be any justice for the massacres, repression and other human rights abuses during the uprising since December 7th. Despite multiple legal challenges from inside the country and international investigations into human rights abuses, Boluarte has stated as recently as last week that she will continue her term through 2026 .This move has outraged Peruvians who have been mobilized and organized against this dictatorship for six months and are building towards the Tercera Toma de Lima (Third Takeover of Lima) on July 19th
As the parliamentary coup against democratically elected president Pedro Castillo enters its sixth month, the people of Perú continue the protests and begin a new wave of coordinated actions throughout the country to prepare for a third Takeover of Lima in July. Despite the coup regime’s various attempts to stifle the uprising that began December 7th and has continued both in the capital city of Lima and in the outer provinces and regions, despite the Supreme Court ruling declaring protests are not a protected right and Congress trying to take Perú out of the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights , the people have not stopped making their voices heard.
After almost six months of a coup regime that has murdered over 80 people during continuous protests against the illegal ouster of President Pedro Castillo, survivors of another case of human rights abuses may finally be seeing justice. On May 19th, former dictator Alberto Fujimori was summoned virtually from Penal de Barbadillo (where Pedro Castillo is also imprisoned on preventative detention) by the Chilean Supreme Court for the cases of forced sterilization during his regime in the 1990s. Between 1996 and 2000, approximately 270,000 women and 22,000 men were forcibly sterilized under the dictatorship’s “family planning” measures, all from poor rural indigenous areas.
Last week right-wing Ecuadorian president Guillermo Lasso dissolved the national assembly. In stark contrast to their response to a similar move by the leftist president of Peru five months ago, Ottawa effectively supported the measure. As he was on the cusp of being impeached over corruption allegations Lasso dissolved the national assembly. He called on military leaders to endorse his initiative, sent police to take over Congress and cut internet connections to the legislature. The constitutional provision Lasso cited to dissolve the national assembly has never been employed before and it allows the president to rule by decree for six months (though elections need to be held within three months).
Amid continuing social upheaval five months after the parliamentary coup against Pedro Castillo, the Peruvian Congress, controlled by the hard right, has approved the entrance of US troops into national territory to train the Peruvian military and National Police beginning June 1st through the end of the year. This comes after the Supreme Court ruled that protest is not a protected right under the 1993 Fujimori dictatorship era constitution. This also comes after a visit from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association Clément Nyaletsossi Voule stated that there was no evidence of terrorism from protesters and called for accountability and political reform to end the crisis.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), on Monday, May 15, once again refused to hand over the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance to Peru’s de facto president of Peru, Dina Boluarte. President AMLO said that there was a consensus between Mexico, Colombia and Chile not to give the presidency of the alliance to Peru. “There are four countries [in the bloc]: Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru. And the opinion of the president of Colombia is similar to mine and the president of Chile. He is [also] not interested in giving Peru the presidency of this group called the Pacific Alliance… We can hand it over to Chile, to Colombia and let them decide what they [want to] do