This Tuesday there will be a “great national march” demanding the resignation of the president Dina Boluarte. on the eve, a large group demonstrated through the streets of downtown Lima. As in previous protests, the police repressed the mobilization. He fired tear gas to prevent the displacement of the protesters, who responded by throwing stones and sticks. At the close of this note, the repression hardened. Until then there were no reports of injuries. The protests that broke out in December in the southern Andes have spread to a good part of the country and have taken leading role in Lima since last Thursday, when there was a massive mobilization that was harshly repressed, leaving several injured and more than thirty detainees. This repression has continued the following days, but it has not stopped the protests, which have been repeated daily in the capital since Thursday.
A large protest mobilization is expected for this Tuesday, concentrating the different mobilized groups in the center of Lima, which these days have demonstrated with little coordination between them. Residents from the interior of the country have come to the capital to demonstrate through the streets of the city, in what has been called “the takeover of Lima.” The Government harasses them, seeking to pressure them to return to their regions. But They assure that they will not leave the fight until they obtain the resignation of Boluarte. They have been in the front row in the protests these days in Lima. Organizations that support and host them point out that there are “several thousand”. New groups prepare to go to Lima.
To answer for the police intervention this Saturday at the University of San Marcos – denounced as illegal – to arrest nearly 200 residents who have arrived in Lima to join the protests that were staying there, The Minister of the Interior, Vicente Romero, must go to Congress. But the support of the right protects him from a possible censorship that forces him to leave office. The detainees in San Marcos were released the following day by the Prosecutor’s Office for not having a reason for their arrest, confirming the arbitrariness of those arrests. Their arrest and the mistreatment and threats they suffered are part of the intimidation against those who mobilize to demand the departure of Boluarte and elections this year.
The so-called “great national march” will be replicated in different regions, where the protests have not ceased for a single day since they resumed on January 4 after a brief Christmas lull. Roadblocks continue. According to an official report on Monday, more than 70 pickets They block roads in 10 of the 25 regions of the country. The Panamericana Sur and Norte highways, and the Central highway that leads to the Andean regions, the three main highways in the country, have been blocked in different sections. This Monday there were clashes in the Huánuco region, in the center of the country, when the police attacked a blockade picket on the Central highway. Clashes on the roads have become frequent, the police attack, unblock a road, then it is blocked again. Hundreds of vehicles, most of them trucks that transport food, are stopped on different roads due to the blockades. in different areas there are supply problems.
The south, paralyzed
The Andean south of the country, where there is an indefinite strike, remains paralyzed. It is the area where the protests are strongest and the one that has suffered the harshest repression. That’s where most of the close to fifty deaths from police and military shots have occurred. In Arequipa, some 900 kilometers south of Lima, a police officer captured by protesters on Sunday was released. The police force was retained during an attack on the La Joya district police station. According to testimonies of protesters, quoted by the Arequipa newspaper “El Búho”, they were mobilizing peacefully when the police arrested two people, so they went to the police station to demand their release and were repressed by police officers. There were shots and injuries. That triggered popular outrage and the attack on the police station took place. The police ended up fleeing. In these circumstances, the police force was captured, released hours later. In the Ica coastal region, some 300 kilometers south of Lima, protesters entered the farms of agro-export companies on Monday.
In another step in the militarization of the country, the president of the Judiciary, Javier Arévalo, called for the Armed Forces to take control of the security of judicial premises throughout the country. He justified his request by pointing out that since December, during the protests, fourteen judicial premises have been attacked in various places.
The head of the ministerial cabinet, Alberto Otárola, testified this Monday before the Prosecutor’s Office in the investigation into the more than forty deaths caused by the repression. Otárola is the most influential and authoritative figure behind Boluarte. He has justified the bloody crackdown and has repeatedly backed security forces accused of shooting protesters.
The rejection of President Boluarte grows. The Minister of Housing, Hania Pérez de Cuéllar, low profile in this crisis, was stoned out of a town in the northern region of Piura, where until now the protests have not been felt. She went to inspect sanitation works, there were no problems, until in her speech she praised Boluarte and the anger of the attendees was unleashed. Citizen rage against the right-wing-backed Boluarte government does not let up.