A protester in the center of Lima holds a sign that reads Dina Boluarte, resign. (Photo: Zoe Alexandra.)
The Haiti/Americas Team of the Black Alliance for Peace Condemns the Dina Boluarte Coup Regime’s Violent Repression of Protesters in Perú.
Press release originally published in Black Alliance for Peace.
For Immediate Release
JANUARY 16, 2023—The Haiti/Americas Team of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) denounces the bloody repression targeting the predominantly poor indigenous rural and Amazonian communities protesting the December 7, 2022 right wing coup that removed Perú’s President Pedro Castillo Terrones from power. These communities had resoundingly and overwhelmingly voted for Castillo, rejecting outright the neoliberal regime installed by the previous governments. The violence, of an intensity not seen since the Alberto Fujimori dictatorship (1990-2000), has been led by the Peruvian Armed Forces, under orders of coup-leader Dina Boluarte, the Fujimorista Fuerza Popular Party, and other political factions. In under 40 days, at least 50 people have been massacred, including 17-year-old student and animal shelter volunteer Yamileth Aroquipa Hancco.
Instead of mourning the loss of life of fellow Peruvians, the right, its lapdog press in Lima, and the liberal middle class (“pitucos”), have labeled the protesters “terrucos” (terrorists) and “indios salvajes pobres” (poor savage Indians) – fuelling racism and class antagonism. Although Peruvian Armed Forces and the coup regime claim to want calm (going so far as to stage a farcical “March for Peace”), they have continued to snipe protesters from helicopters, while rounding up and arbitrarily detaining organizers, union leaders, and students. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and other human rights organizations have begun investigations, but the coup regime continues to dig in its heels and Dina Boluarte has declared she will not resign.
For BAP, the coup in Perú, and the subsequent violence against Perú’s poor and indigenous communities, is part of a dangerous trend targeting progressive forces in the region. It represents Western imperialist efforts to deny popular sovereignty and self-determination throughout the Americas as a means towards expanding the free market and neoliberal political regimes, while bolstering the U.S. military presence via SOUTHCOM. Significantly, the U.S. Ambassador in Perú, Lisa Kenna, met with Perú’s Defense Minister two days before the coup against Castillo and the U.S. government, through Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, swiftly recognized Boluarte. Meanwhile, there has been silence from other Western nations on the brutal repression of the masses.
BAP’s Haiti/Americas Team welcomes the repudiation of the coup by Perú’s regional neighbors. Yet we view with concern President Lula of Brazil’s seeming acceptance of the coup. We follow the lead of the Peruvian parties of the São Paulo Forum who call on President Lula and the Brazil Workers’ Party to condemn the human rights violations in Perú. We remember clearly Lula’s support for the 2004 U.S.-Canada-France coup d’etat in Haiti and we hope that, this time around, the leftist government in Brazil will do right by Perú.
In support of the Peruvian popular struggle, BAP’s Haiti/Americas Team condemns the violence against the people, calls for the immediate resignation of the Boluarte coup regime, the release and reinstatement of President Castillo, and for a popular Constituent Assembly. BAP mourns the loss of life and denounces the escalating political repression and arbitrary arrests of social leaders and students. We align ourselves totally with the popular struggle of the Peruvian people.
As one of the popular chants in the streets of Perú states, “hasta la victoria siempre, carajo!” or “towards victory always, damn it!” And as BAP says, “no compromise, no retreat!”