Lima, Jan 3 (EFE).- Civil organizations linked to religious groups, retired military and police, as well as conservative politicians, participated Tuesday in a peace march through downtown Lima and several Peruvian cities to reject the violence of the protests in December in which 28 people died.
Carrying a huge red and white flag, hundreds of attendees marched through the streets of the capital dressed in white clothing and carrying signs calling for peace in the country.
“Democracy is love” and “United for peace” were some of the poster slogans paraded during the walk from the park known as the Campo de Marte to central Plaza San Martin.
Among the crowd were legislators Alejandro Muñante, from the ultra-conservative Renovación Popular party, and Alfredo Azurín, from the center-right Somos Perú, who addressed the protesters in an atrium built in San Martín square.
Muñante, third vice president of Congress, told reporters that Peruvians want “peace for the country because only in this way” will they achieve development and expressed his support for the National Police, despite reports of possible excesses committed in the repression of the December protests.
“We support the work of the National Police and, if there is excess (of its functions), it must be investigated,” Muñante said.
The National Police called for the march for peace on their social networks, but, after criticism for activism, it asked its members to stop promoting the activity and to refrain from participating in it.
On the other hand, Muñante asked that the demonstrators who have protested against the government of Dina Boluarte and announced the resumption of their mobilizations, starting Wednesday, “identify those who infiltrate to cause destruction” and that “there are people who want to take advantage of their good intentions to generate instability.”
Those attending the march for peace toured the streets of the historic center without major incident, except for the presence of former congressional candidate Zaira Arias of the Peru Libre party, a self-described Marxist party that led Pedro Castillo to the presidency in 2021. She was arrested Tuesday along with two other people after throwing red paint at a group of participants.
Castillo was dismissed by Congress on Dec. 7 after he announced he would dissolve Congress and install an emergency government ahead of an impeachment vote, but this measure sparked violent protests throughout the country by groups that rejected the assumption of his vice president, now President Boluarte.
Among the protesters who joined the march on Tuesday were retired soldiers, businessmen and housewives, such as a woman who identified herself as Carmen, and who told EFE that she was attending for her children and grandchildren.
“I don’t want them to live in a time of terrorism that I already lived through in the eighties, which was the most horrible time of my life, I don’t want that to happen again. We want peace,” she said.
Retired sailor Rafael Silva told EFE that Peru is enduring a “very difficult time” and wants to “contribute to peace.”
Las Malvinas commercial emporium representative Alfredo Mamani, said that, as a result of the protests, “there has been a drop for two or three months, there are no sales” and they are concerned.
Demonstrations in support of the March for Peace were also held Tuesday in the cities of Chiclayo, Trujillo, Huancayo, Arequipa, Cuzco and Tacna, among others. EFE