Justice is in turn entering into the serious political crisis underway in Peru. The prosecution thus announced on Tuesday an investigation for “ genocide against President Dina Boluarte and several senior officials, for their role in suppressing anti-government protests that have claimed 40 lives since December.
State prosecutor Patricia Benavides “decided to open a preliminary investigation against President Dina Boluarte, President of the Council of Ministers Alberto Otarola, Interior Minister Victor Rojas, Defense Minister Jorge Chavez “, announced the Peruvian prosecutor’s office on Twitter. This investigation concerns acts of “genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries, committed during the demonstrations of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Punon, Junin, Arequipa and Ayacucho”.
Elections brought forward from 2026 to April 2024
The investigation also targets the ex-president of the Council of Ministers Pedro Angulo and the ex-Minister of the Interior César Cervantes, who had been part of the government of Dina Boluarte from December 7 to 21. A total of 22 people died in protests during those two weeks.
The balance sheet has since been much heavier. At least 40 people have died and more than 600 have been injured in protests following the December 7 impeachment and arrest of leftist President Pedro Castillo, accused of a coup attempt for attempting to dissolve parliament that was about to oust him from power. The demonstrators demand, among other things, the departure of Dina Boluarte, who succeeded Pedro Castilloand the immediate holding of early elections, already brought forward from 2026 to April 2024.
Puno region under curfew
The epicenter of the protests is the Aymara (Amerindian people) region of Puno, on the border with Bolivia and on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where an indefinite strike has been in effect since January 4 and where there have been serious clashes and looting. The government there decreed on Tuesday a curfew three days after 18 people died in protests since Monday.
Peru is also to receive this Wednesday a mission from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), dispatched to the country to investigate the demonstrations and the response of the police. The UN Human Rights Office for its part said on Tuesday “very concerned about the increase in violence in Peru”. He called on “protesters to show restraint” and the police to “ensure that force is only used when strictly necessary”.