‘Model of repression’: US Democrats call for suspension of aid to Peru | Human Rights News
Democrats in the US House of Representatives issued a letter denouncing Peru’s deadly crackdown on protesters.
A group of Democrats in the US House of Representatives have urged the Biden administration to suspend all security assistance to Peru due to its “repressive model” against anti-government protests resulted in the deaths of more than 50 civilians.
Their letter, a copy of which was shared with The Associated Press, asked the Biden administration on Monday to suspend security assistance until the government could confirm it. persecution in Peru is over and the Peruvian officials responsible for human rights violations are being held accountable.
Peru’s foreign minister is this week in Washington, DC, seeking international support for the increasingly besieged government of President Dina Boluarte. Pressure has mounted on Boluarte, formerly vice president under former president Pedro Castillo, to resign post she inherited month ago Castillo was impeached and arrested for his ill-fated attempt to shut down the Peruvian Congress.
“Security forces responded indiscriminately with little regard for the human rights of the protesters,” according to the letter, signed by 20 mostly progressive House Democrats. “Instead of working to reduce tensions, the Boluarte government has increased tensions significantly – including by classifying protesters as ‘terrorists’ and restricting the movement of citizens.”
According to the Washington Office for Latin America, a nonprofit research organization, the United States provides more than $40 million annually to Peru for security assistance. Mostly to help Peru counterattack drug dealing.
While protesters initially demanded that Castillo be released from prison, unrest has spread across the country, drawing support from many. Poor Indigenous Peruvians who have benefited little from Peru economic boom due to mining.
The protesters demanded that both Boluarte and the National Assembly resign and hold new elections this year. legislators rejected there on Friday. But after that another protester died and Boluarte urges them for reconsideration, the National Assembly narrowly agreed on Monday to debate the proposal to hold elections in October, with 66 votes in favor, 49 votes against and 6 abstentions.
Meanwhile, as the protests dragged on into a second month, the besieged security forces became stronger.
Among the incidents cited in the letter, organized by Congressman Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, was the National Police raid on a student dormitory at University of San Marcos in Lima, including the mass arrest of nearly 200 people. That shocked many Peruvians because universities have long been banned by security forces unless a crime is committed.
The campus invasion was harshly condemned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which said it had gathered testimony from civil society groups who accused law enforcement officers of infiltrating dormitories of student leaders, making racist remarks to indigenous activists and forcing women to go topless and do squats.
United Nations and European Union officials have strongly condemned what they see as a disproportionate use of force. The Biden administration has been more measured, calling for an objective investigation into abuses while also expressing support for the Boluarte’s efforts to restore calm and seek a political solution.
Amid uncertainty, outgoing US Ambassador Lisa Kenna announced an additional $8 million in US support for efforts to eradicate the coca plant in the remote Upper Huallaga valley, part of the Amazon basin in Peru. Kenna also met with the defense minister and other cabinet members.
According to the letter, such actions send a “vague message,” which was also signed by representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Pramila Jayapal of Washington state and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, a longtime voice. on human rights in Latin America.
They wrote: “The US government can and must do more. “We believe our proposed actions will send a strong signal in favor of fundamental rights and help promote effective participation for a political solution.”
A copy of the letter was also sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.