Peru: Juliaca massacre death toll rises to 17

January 10 — Peru’s human rights ombudsman has confirmed that the death toll from last night’s massacre in Juliaca has risen to 17. The protesters were killed while participating in the general strike against the coup regime led by President Dina Boluarte.

The statement from the ombudsman reads: “At nine o’clock at night on January 9, 2023, we recorded 17 deaths in Juliaca, and one further death due to events related to the road blockade in Chucuito, Puno”. The total number dead since the coup is now at 46.

The general strike against the coup is now in its 7th day, with barricades cutting off highways at 45 different points across the country. The indigenous Aymara region of Puno, which borders Bolivia, has been the epicenter of social protest. Other hotspots include; Arequipa, Cusco, Tacna, and Amazonian cities such as Pucallpa and Ucayali.

Following the deaths last night, Prime Minister Alberto Otárola announced that the government will not resign and will continue the repression in Puno in order to ‘restore order.’ Otárola asked the Prosecutor’s Office “to capture and prosecute those who are destroying the country financed by foreign interests and by the dark money of drug trafficking.”

The protests began on December 7th, when security forces arrested President Castillo, who is still being held without charge in Lima. The national congress, in which right-wing parties have a majority, installed Dina Boluarte as President until elections in 2024. Protesters want the resignation of Boluarte, immediate elections, and also a constituent assembly in order to draft a new constitution.

Source: Kawsachun News

Peru: General strike continues despite repression

January 9 — The general strike against Peru’s coup regime is on its sixth consecutive day with barricades and roadblocks erected across the country. The weekend also saw countless illegal arrests of protesters and journalists.

According to authorities, protesters have blocked highways at 45 different points. The indigenous Aymara region of Puno is the center of opposition to the regime, with the highest number of barricades erected along highways. The roads connecting Puno to Arequipa, Cusco, and the Amazon, are among those currently blocked.

In Lima, 224 people were detained on Friday for participating in protests organized by workers’ unions. Nevertheless, the transport workers union has announced that they will join the general strike “if this is the only way for them to listen to us,” said their general secretary Ricardo Pareja.

The possibility of dialogue appears unlikely after the Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTP), the largest union confederation, announced that it would not participate in the ‘National Agreement Session’ organized by the regime. The unions say that there cannot be social peace while the Peruvian people are being massacred, tortured, and killed for using their right to social protests.

The regime of Dina Boluarte has killed more than 30 protesters, mostly indigenous, since the coup against Pedro Castillo. Strike demands include the resignation of Dina Boluarte, new elections, a constituent assembly, and the release of Pedro Castillo.

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