The protests spread to all the neighborhoods of Lima and cities of the country. Photo: Vidal Carrasco
It is difficult to explain what happened in our country to outsiders. Even in the country, we are not able to grasp the dimension of the events. The facts are clear, they are vicious and they hurt: two young men murdered, Bryan Pintado and Inti Sotelo; dozens of protesters wounded; excessive force used and shots fired aiming at people’s bodies; enforced disappearances; sexual abuse and torture; mass arrests. So many crimes committed by the State, so much pain in less than a week. There is only one thing to hope for: for the first time in the history of Peru, hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets to protest against the unconstitutional removal of the Peruvian president.
Arbildo Meléndez Grandes was killed while out hunting and fishing to provide for his family. Photo: Aidesep.
Despite its function being to fight drug trafficking, the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA) has been financing the titling of lands claimed by Indigenous People in favour of individuals who indiscriminately cut down forests and practice illegal agriculture. Far from providing a response, the public body denies all responsibility, instead of shifting it onto regional governments. Meanwhile, attacks on Indigenous leaders and harassment of Amazonian communities are mounting.
Our partners at ONAMIAP (Organización Nacional de Mujeres Indígenas Andinas y Amazónicas del Perú/National Organisation of Andean and Amazon Indigenous Women of Peru) have taken a proactive stance in responding to major issues and challenges raised by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.