The protests of popular organizations in Peru against President Dina Boluarte, which in the first phase left around 70 dead in the police and military repression, will resume next Wednesday with a call “taking of Lima”awaited with singular expectation.
Although the media estimate that some 30,000 people could reach Lima from the interior, especially from the southern Andes, analysts estimate that the number will be much lower, since in several areas, according to the political scientist from the city of Trujillo, Martin Ueda, “the atmosphere is off”.
Ueda gave two reasons why the call parently has not had the reach that it achieved between last December and March: on the one hand, the intimidation launched by the government and their allies, and, on the other, the lack of connection of the conveners with the bases.
“There are no visible leadersespecially in the north, although the reasons for discomfort are still valid,” said the political scientist.
The government move
The Boluarte government, internationally criticized for the repression that left 49 dead in direct clashes -all civilians- and close to twenty more if collateral events are included, has been active in adopting and the announcement of containment measures which, among other things, include surveillance on the outskirts of the cital on those who arrive.
that operation, btized as “green fan”Due to the deployment of the uniformed officers, it aims to discourage potential travelers and is part of a plan led by the Minister of the Interior, Vicente Romero, a retired general of the Police.
“Boluarte and (Prime Minister) Alberto Otarola take July 19 as their government’s D-Day and comment that, if the crisis generated by the protest is overcome, they will be able to stay without problems until 2026“When the term of government ends, a source from the National Intelligence Directorate told the weekly Hidebrandt en sus Trece.
According to this version, Boluarte, Otarola and their allies articulate decisions to put the state paratus at the service of the containment of the protestwhich supposedly includes the delivery of extra funds for the Ministry of Defense.
A resolution that transfers 12.2 million soles (3.8 million dollars) to Defense was issued last week by the Ministry of Economy, arguing that it seeks intelligence and counterintelligence bodies to “promote economic reactivation by mitigating the risks of economic losses”.
According to complaints from the opposition, the campaign by the government and its allies, including representatives of big business and the mainstream press, includes a propaganda offensive to link protesters to terrorism, a practice known in Peru as “terruqueo”.
The anti-terrorism chief of the Police, Jose Zavala, assured that the dismantled ultra-leftist armed group Shining Path stimulates protests and cited as alleged evidence an audio recording in which a leader of the organization, Florabel Vargas, supposedly calls her colleagues from the department of Ayacucho to participate.
According to Zavala, the remnants of Sendero are looking for deaths to “destabilize the structures of the State” with chaos and violence. Police also spoke of alleged foreign participants, including unspecified “French anarchists.”
The alleged participation of radicals, especially with ties to Sendero -a fundamentalist Maoist group that unleashed the violence that left almost 70,000 dead between 1980 and 2000-, has been a permanent argument of Boluarte and their allies to disqualify the protests, although no evidence was presented to the Prosecutor’s Office or the Judiciary.
“The terruqueo it is a powerful weon, responds to the visualization of an enemy; Extremist sectors in power build this enemy to eventually justify the repression and what is being said is substantially that the Peruvians who are going to mobilize are enemies,” commented journalist Marco Aviles, a scholar of the subject.
Aviles also recalled that due to cultural and political characteristics of Peru, “terruqueo” arbitrarily links the Andean, peasant, indigenous and poor population to illegal extremism, which makes it racist and classist.
For Ueda, however, it should not be ignored as a factor of a possible low reception that those who call the protests, in many cases from anonymity, have not managed to esce the discredit suffered by the entire political establishment in Peru.
“There is not, for example, no one to claim in the urban sector to (the ousted and imprisoned former president) Pedro Castillo, who only has support in the rural sector,” Ueda remarked.
According to various surveys, the government hardly reaches 20% of popular provaland Congress -controlled by the right- does not exceed 7%, while at least 93% of the citizenry wants the 2026 elections to be anticipated. But the discredit also reaches the opposition.
The protests against Boluarte broke out on December 7, when, in her inauguration as Castillo’s successor, she said that she intended to stay in power until 2026, ignoring the clamor for early elections.
These protests lasted for several weeks and put Boluarte in check, who, although of leftist origin, is clearly allied with the parliamentary right. However, all the commotion ceased when natural phenomena -floods and a hurricane-, They made us rethink priorities.
Different forums, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, questioned the “excessive use” of the force in the repression and even described some of the deaths as ?extrajudicial executions?, all of which makes what hpens in the week that begins remain under the magnifying glass.