We must denounce the killings and ask for justice. What is taking place in Peru is a massacre, and it’s a massacre by the government and by the security forces, and it’s a massacre that the media are not reporting.Francesca Emanuele
By the Labour Outlook Team
Yesterday, Matt Willgress of Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America, met with Francesca Emanuele, a Peruvian activist and a former correspondent of the TeleSur media agency in Latin America, to discuss the urgent situation emerging in Peru.
The county’s president, Pedro Castillo, has been detained since 7th December. Castillo’s arrest follows his dismissal by Congress after his failed attempt to dissolve the Parliament and establish a government of exception. The detention has provoked protests from Peru’s indigenous working class, which have been met by lethal repression by the country’s security forces.
Providing some context to the situation, Emanuele said, ‘working class indigenous people are fed up of having racist politicians that are not doing anything to improve the life of the poorest communities. A year and a half ago Pedro Castillo was elected. He was the first president of working class origins, and supposedly a leftist president, in the history of Peru – people had a lot of hope in him because he said that he would transform the country… Now that president is not there anymore’.
‘Congress celebrated, singing, chanting, that he was ousted. This is an image that I have stuck in my head – these congressmen celebrating and saying that they were the heroes of democracy when the truth is, when Castillo was elected, they tried to flip the results’.
‘As soon as he was sworn in… the rightwing politicians that have captured the congress continued trying to oust him. As you can see, they finally did it’
On the character of the protests in response to Castillo’s arrest, she said:
‘The protests started in the rural areas of Peru. These aren’t protests that organised by parties or big organised social movements or organisations. These are spontaneous – they are people who are fed up with the situation – they are indigenous working class people’.
‘This is important, because they are not super organised – the military and the police are repressing them brutally and there are no consequences. The media are not reporting how they have been repressed.’
‘Yesterday 7 people were killed by the police in Ayacucho in the Andes and these were not part of the headlines.’
She said that we must ‘denounce the killings and ask for justice. What is taking place in Peru is a massacre, and it’s a massacre by the government and by the security forces, and it’s a massacre that the media are not reporting’.
‘Right now, the media and the elites are saying we are living in democracy and that these protests are terrorists…. But it’s not true. These protestors are protesting because they see this as an illegitimate government.’
‘People want elections now and the constitution of Peru blockades that possibility, but the people are fed up. They think “I don’t care what the constitution says, I want elections now because I don’t believe in the politicians that are running my country now”’.