Skip to main content

People of Peru continue protests against Boluarte regime despite violent repression

By Harsh Thakor
The protests of the Peruvian people staged against the dictatorial government of Dina Boluarte have been taking place for more than a month and, in recent days; have taken on more intensive and generalised form. Road blocks and important demonstrations in several regions of the country have been routine, like in Puno, Arequipa, Junín, Cusco and Apurímac.
The unanimous cry of the people raised in protest is to demand the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Congress, the immediate call for elections and the freedom of Pedro Castillo. If these demands are rejected, the protests will intensify, in a more resilient manner. For their part, representatives of the government have not been able to hide a series of highly repressive measures, which seek to manipulate the circumstances and control the crisis created by the ruling classes of the neighbouring country.
The police have tried to unblock the roads taken over by the thousands of demonstrators who have resorted to stones and the burning of tires; which has been countered in a most cowardly way with abundant tear gas and, most seriously, the use of firearms by the police and military. These have already left more than 50 dead and hundreds injured and detained. The "protectors", who have occupied public buildings and airports and carried out brutal repression against the people, have not been able to quell the agitators. They have not been demoralised and, on the contrary, their demonstrations have become more emphatic and resounding, despite the warnings of the Boluarte government. It preserves the state of emergency, as the main mechanism of curbing control the social discontent that has simmered again in the streets and plazas of the country. Everything indicates that the struggle in Peru will intensify till the demands have been met.
The exhortations of President Boluarte have been in vain. She accuses the people of "retreat, pain, economic losses", thereby trying to hide the fact that the crisis in Peru has been caused by the anti-popular governments that are subservient to the interests of imperialism and the Peruvian ruling classes. The crisis has greatly worsened with the illegal dismissal of President Pedro Castillo through a coup d'état, supported and engineered by US imperialism.
The decision of the people is to continue with the protests despite the violent repression and the political manoeuvres that have been developed by the authorities to stop them. "They must all go", the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Parliament, the holding of a constituent process to change the 1993 Constitution, and the call for immediate new elections are the banners that are held high.
The Peruvian Prosecutor's Office has been forced to undertake a process of investigation into Boluarte for the crimes that have been committed against the people. However, the people do place faith that the process will be fully enforced as it may well be part of the ploys that try to subside the intensity of the struggles. Boluarte, for her part, cynically calls for peace and accuses those who protest of enacting violence.
The coup d'état that took place in Peru on December 8 wrote a new chapter in the serious political crisis that has shaken that country for months. As soon as Pedro Castillo took over the preignsof residency of the Republic, imperialism and the Peruvian big bourgeoisie conspired against that government which came about with broad popular support, due to its economic, political and social agenda that promoted the people's yearnings for change. However, those hopes were quelled by Castillo's rejection of his electoral program, particularly the proposal to convene a Constituent Assembly, and by a little-transparent government management with close relatives in key positions.
Castillo's dismissal and imprisonment does not terminate the political crisis, but accentuates it. Six presidents of the Republic have taken turns in Peru in the last six years; all of them are directly responsible for perpetuating the economic and political crisis, for the serious social problems that affect the workers and the people, for an anti-national policy blessing the interests of international finance capital and for the allotment of huge mining concessions to international monopolies.
In the highest spheres, the different bourgeois factions contend for spaces of power and institutional control, while the workers and the people are merciless victims of poverty, unemployment, low wages and repression when they protest. These and other problems and material demands precipitate the struggle of the people, particularly they are demanding the convocation of a Constituent Assembly within the framework of their demands: They must all go!
More than two months after taking power, Boluarte is obstinate to step down. According to polls, support for the protests was at 59 percent at the end of January. Some 74 percent demand the president’s resignation; 73 percent are calling for new elections this year; and 69 percent are in favour of calling a Constituent Assembly.
Attempts to centralise protest demands have so far failed. While some protesters aim to re structure the country through establishing constitutional reform that would transform the economic model and establish Peru as a plurinational state, others only seek reverting to democracy and institutional changes. The one shared goal among the protesters is the resignation of Boluarte and early elections.
If she does resign and early elections are held, protests for a Constituent Assembly and justice for victims will probably persist, but most protesters will demobilise. If the new government avoids arbitrary repression and stagers a fair election, the demands may be incorporated into the campaign.
However if the president maintains power solely through repression, it is likely that protests of high intensity will continue, with continuous ebb and flow , particularly in Lima and the southern regions.
The weakness of Peru’s political actors makes it difficult to imagine the emergence of an authoritarian regime, but there are other paths we must fear. Even if Boluarte resigns peacefully or transfers power following elections, Peru still faces underlying structural issues. The dichotomy between authoritarianism on one side and impunity on the other will flair up radical actors.
It has weak overall state capacity and meaningless political parties that produce politicians who refuse to be accountable to their constituents. A system governed by political amateurs has fostered endemic instability that makes the country ungovernable.
Important that the mass movement is crystallised giving class struggle the cutting edge, preventing people being swayed by the powerful waves of ruling class politics. The masses must learn lessons from past experience in Latin America when regimes have toppled.
Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has studied national liberation movements



A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Banned Maoist party protests in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, claims support across globe

By Harsh Thakor*  Despite being a banned and designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 2009, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is said to have successfully implemented a one-day bandh across Kolhan division in Jharkhand on July 10th, with repurcussions in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The bandh was called to protest against alleged police brutality in the Kolhan-Saranda region.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".

Hindutva economics? 12% decline in manufacturing enterprises, 22.5% fall in employment

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The messiah of Hindutva politics, Narendra Modi, assumed office as the Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. He pledged to transform the Indian economy and deliver a developed nation with prosperous citizens. However, despite Modi's continued tenure as the Prime Minister, his ambitious electoral promises seem increasingly elusive.