Monday, Dec 04, 2023

Peru’s ‘racist bias’ drove lethal police response to protests, Amnesty says

Peru’s ‘racist bias’ drove lethal police response to protests, Amnesty says

In a damning report, human rights group says state permitted ‘excessive and lethal use of force’ against Indigenous groups

Peru used “excessive and lethal force” driven by “marked racist bias” against a largely indigenous and campesino population, Amnesty International has concluded, following an investigation into more than two months of anti-government protests which have claimed at least 60 lives.

An Amnesty International fact-finding mission investigated 46 possible cases of human rights violations and documented 12 cases of deaths from the use of firearms – all the victims appeared to have been shot in the chest, torso or head – following visits to the capital Lima and the southern cities of Chincheros, Ayacucho and Andahuaylas.

In a damning report, Erika Guevara-Rosas, the organisation’s Americas director, said the Peruvian authorities had permitted the “excessive and lethal use of force to be the government’s only response for more than two months to the clamour of thousands of communities who today demand dignity and a political system that guarantees their human rights”.

Police officers arrest a woman protesting against the government of Dina Boluarte in Lima, Peru.

“The grave human rights crisis facing Peru has been fueled by stigmatisation, criminalisation and racism against Indigenous peoples and campesino communities who today take to the streets exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and in response have been violently punished,” she told journalists on Thursday.

The rights group’s visit comes as President Dina Boluarte and her government face widespread accusations of using excessive force against civilian protesters. At least 48 people have been killed by security forces, prompting the UN human rights office to demand an investigation into the deaths and injuries last month.

Peru has been mired in political strife and street violence since early December, when former president Pedro Castillo was accused of staging a coup after attempting to dissolve congress and rule by decree. He was arrested, and Boluarte, his vice-president and former running mate, took office. Protesters, however, have called for her resignation and early elections amid mounting deaths. She has refused to resign while the country’s congress has rejected bills to announce elections.

Amnesty International’s delegation said it presented evidence of excesses by the security forces to Boluarte in a meeting on Wednesday. The investigation found evidence of “marked racist bias” targeting historically marginalised populations as the number of arbitrary deaths was disproportionately concentrated in largely Indigenous regions, the organisation said.

Indigenous populations represent only 13% of Peru’s total population but they account for 80% of the total deaths registered since the crisis began, it found.

“It’s no coincidence that dozens of people told Amnesty International they felt that the authorities treated them like animals and not human beings,” said Guevara-Rosas. “The systemic racism ingrained in Peruvian society and its authorities for decades has been the driving force behind the violence used to punish communities that have raised their voices.”

“I come to demand justice. I come to speak on behalf of all those who were killed by bullets,” said Ruth Bárcena, the widow of Leonardo Hancco, 32, one of 10 citizens killed by soldiers in Ayacucho on 15 December after some protesters tried to storm the airport. “We are not terrorists,” she said.

Protests in Peru have not stopped since Boluarte assumed the presidency in December.

“I didn’t think that in the Peruvian state demanding your rights was a crime that deserved having your life taken,” said Bárcena, who leads a group of families left bereft by the violence in the Andean city. “[The dead] have left orphans who will never embrace their parents again. Like my daughter, who asks every day: ‘Why did they kill my father, why did the soldiers shoot my father?’”

A recent investigation by Peruvian journalists at IDL Reporteros retraced the final steps of six of the 10 killed in Ayacucho. It found that one of the victims was helping an injured protester on his doorstep, and two others, including a 15-year-old boy, were walking home and had not taken part in the demonstrations nor been involved in the attempt – by some protesters – to storm the airport.

The organisation said it found photographic and video material which pointed to “excessive and sometimes indiscriminate use of lethal and potentially lethal force by the authorities”. It added some of the cases could constitute extrajudicial killings.

It also found that judicial investigations into the deaths were slow and under-resourced and the “chain of custody of certain evidence had not been preserved, which could undermine the possibility of genuinely impartial and exhaustive investigations”.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Engulfed in Flames Amidst a Firestorm of Protests
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
An Ominous Shift in Warfare: Western Powers Risk War Crimes and Violate International Norms with Cluster Bomb Supply to Ukraine
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner