Alternautas Statement on State Violence in Peru, January 2023

Alternautas condemns the state violence directed against anti-government protesters in Peru. Almost 50 people have been killed since the fall of Pedro Castillo’s government in early December. Many of those who have borne the brunt of this violence are mainly Indigenous Aymara and Quechua people situated in the southern Highlands, the areas most affected by the country’s civil war and violence from both the Peruvian state and the Sendero Luminoso.

The current political crisis is a product of a wider degradation of the country’s democratic institutions and an intensification of violence leveed against marginalised groups will not offer a route out of this situation. Popular protest is a vital part of any functioning democracy and the response by the Peruvian state under the government of Dina Boluarte is reprehensible. Further proposed emergency measures that will extend the military’s powers yet further still will only escalate violence and increase impunity for state actors responsible for the vast majority of the violence. These state actors, including the police and military must be held account for the abuses of power witnessed in recent weeks.

Alternautas calls for dialogue between the Peruvian government and the diverse sectors about the routes from the crisis. A democratic exit is the only palatable option for resolving the political crisis Peru currently faces. However, Alternautas also notes the extreme degradation of the country’s political institutions over recent years and also calls for a political process to re-establish democratic and governance structures through mechanisms that will include those who have been protesting on the streets over the past couple of months.