Latin America on fire: Riots in Peru kill 17 as Bolsonaro announces return to Brazil


Peru’s government plunges into a spiral of clashes between demonstrators and security forces that contrasts with the unanimity with which Lula’s government is channeling the attempted coup in Bolsonaro

The uprisings do not rest in Latin America. As Brazil begins to address the high-voltage crisis caused by the attack by thousands of Bolsonaristas on Congress headquarters, the presidential palace and the seat of the Supreme Court, Peru continues to plunge into bloody chaos a month after the frustrated coup of former President Pedro Castillo. Seventeen people have been killed in a single day in clashes between security forces and protesters demanding new elections in the Andean country and the dissolution of the current executive led by Dina Boluarte.

With these latest casualties, the violence unleashed in street fighting has claimed nearly 50 deaths since Castillo’s arrest. Ministers of the new cabinet claim that the ongoing demonstrations are a “new way” to stage a coup. For its part, the population denounces the harsh repression by police officers, citing as an example that at least nine of the latest deaths were due to gunshot wounds, according to the Monge Medrano Hospital. One of the most recent victims is a 35-year-old man who died in Juliaca after being hit by a bullet to the head on his way home. The young man earned his living by selling paving stones. “Dina, don’t kill us,” the relatives shouted from the hospital.

Juliaca is the ninth most populous city in the country, with a population of nearly 308,000. Located in the department of Puno, it represents one of the most powerful economic and commercial enclaves in Peru. The airport is a key factor in the region’s development and is where thousands of protesters went this Monday to make their demands known. The confiscation of the airports has become the hallmark of the anti-government protests, and the security forces had closely guarded them in Juliaca.

In some cases, the skirmishes lasted until last morning. The Interior Ministry has reported that 11,000 people participated and about 2,000 attacked a police station. Among the fatalities is a minor under the age of 17. The emergency services also reported 38 injured while the police account for 20 injured officers. Particularly tragic is the case of a three-year-old boy who died of respiratory failure in an ambulance found barricaded on the way to hospital.

This latest episode reminds Latin America how easy it is to burn. Authorities hoped that tempers would calm down over Christmas, but mobilizations have returned in the past six days, with even greater intensity in some regions, such as the Puno department itself and those of Apurámac, Arequipa and Cuzco. Added to all this is the call for indefinite strikes, especially at transport terminals, which have sparked popular discontent over shortages. This cycle of chaos has led the Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, to denounce the existence of a “coup” through an “organized assault on the rule of law and institutions”. The demonstrators meanwhile show the journalists bullet cartridges fired by the police.

Claims to the Executive to find a solution have multiplied, both from professional organizations and various institutions. Among them, the ombudsman, Eliana Revollar, has urged Dina Boluarte and Congress to find “a real way out” after finding that the latest civilian mobilization “has become very violent” and that “homemade weapons” are circulating among the protesters. . These, in turn, criticize the brutality of the security forces in firing tear gas and riot control ammunition from helicopters in low-flying flights.

The maze is on. The protests intensify. Police repression is hardening. Meanwhile, the government remains immobile. In the middle of hurricane Boluarte has spoken up after the riots in Juliaca, pointing out that she is waiting for parliament to finally approve her request to issue an election advance in the spring of 2024. Aside from that call, the president assures that the immediate dissolution of the executive branch, the closure of Congress and the formation of a Constituent Assembly “is not in my hands.” According to him, this whole set of demands constitutes a ruse by the “radical left” as a “pretext to continue generating chaos in the cities”.

The President’s statements are made in the context of the national agreement that she agrees with the representatives of the state powers, the political forces and the regional governors to find the key to this political and institutional labyrinth that has emerged as a result of Pedro Castillo’s self-coup. The results of these talks are expected. The prime minister has indicated that the executive will announce “major public security measures” in the coming hours and has called for a judicial inquiry into the riots, which he describes as a “war scenario”.

The same words, war scene, are used by some officials who, 1,500 miles from Lima, are still inspecting the destruction wrought by the Bolsonaristas at the institutions’ headquarters in Brasilia. They are the embers of a social and political crisis that Brazil’s president, Lula da Silva, hopes to channel after gaining the support of the legislature, judges, military and state governors against the extremists related to to his predecessor. In Brazil, the calm in the streets seems to have become notorious, especially after the Bolsonaro camp, which demanded military intervention to end the new left-wing executive, has eliminated the germ of the attack in which thousands of radicals took part. The police have already arrested 1,500 people.

Lula da Silva seems to have emerged from this unprecedented episode of violence against Brazilian democracy strengthened. Late Monday, he explained to his governors that the attackers “had no claims agenda” and simply intended to “blow up” the institutions. To the Bolsonaristas, he countered with the message that “it has been very difficult for us to conquer democracy in this country and so we must learn to coexist democratically in diversity.”

The president has reaped the solidarity of those responsible for the country’s 27 states, who have guaranteed their loyalty to the federal executive. All a sign of maturity that leads to calm just nine days after assuming the leadership of the government and opening an unprecedented legislature following the far right’s previous mandate. He even has the support of Sao Paulo Governor Tarcísio de Freitas and Federal District Vice Governor Celina Leao, both aligned with Jair Bolsonaro. “Today’s meeting means that, after yesterday’s episodes, Brazilian democracy will be even more strengthened,” stressed Freitas at the end of the meeting, without mentioning his former sponsor, who does not spend his best hours in your holiday paradise in Florida.

Bolsonaro has left the hospital in Orlando where he was admitted on Monday due to an episode of intestinal distress (a common ailment for him, caused by the stabbing he suffered in 2018 during the election campaign), but before leaving the medical center complained that he has not enjoyed a single “quiet days” since his arrival in the United States on December 30, an explicit reference to the attack on institutions? No. In reality, the former president has euphemistically ignored the rebellion of his supporters and focused on his illness. «This is already my third admission for severe intestinal obstruction. I came to spend some time with the family, but I haven’t had a quiet few days. First there was that unfortunate episode in Brazil (because of the uprising) and then my hospitalization,” he told CNN.

The former president has reported that he planned to stay in Florida until the end of January, but added that he is likely to return to Brazil much sooner due to his health concerns. If so, he will return for himself in the middle of a frenetic political situation. Aside from the criticism of his lukewarm response to the attack, suspicions of a possible conspiracy with the coup leaders are growing, which has unleashed all possible rumours. Rome’s government yesterday even denied that the far-right leader had applied for Italian citizenship, assuring the White House that it has not received an “official request” from the Brazilian government to end his stay in Florida.

Several Democratic congressmen have asked the United States government to expel the former Latin American president on the understanding that “he should not seek refuge in Florida,” where they believe he is hiding from accountability for his crimes. Brazil, the doctors already know about my problem of intestinal obstruction due to the stab wound. Here the doctors will not follow,” Bolsonaro replied, clarifying his intention to return to his country and not become a fugitive from Justice. Not at least like former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo, whose own escorts thwarted his plans to take refuge in the Mexican embassy after his unusual coup. Somehow Latin America is burning.

Source: La Verdad


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this

How are you? – Revealed: this is what the Viennese think of their neighbors

A new study provides unusual insights into local housing...

Airplane becomes incubator: passengers tip over

Things literally got heated during a flight from Antalya...