Conflicts & War

Peru prosecutor opens genocide probe against Boluarte, several ministers

Lima, Jan 11 (EFE).- Peru’s public prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of genocide against president Dina Boluarte as well as several current and former following clashes at demonstrations in recent weeks that have left 47 people dead and dozens injured.

In a statement published on Twitter on Tuesday night, the Public Prosecutor’s Office said on its Twitter account that Peru’s attorney general, Patricia Benavides, had ordered the inquiry into Boluarte, prime minister Alberto Otárola, interior minister Víctor Rojas, and the defense minister Jorge Chávez, “for alleged crimes of genocide, aggravated homicide and serious injury.”

Former prime minister Pedro Angulo and former interior minister César Cervantes have also been implicated in the probe, the statement said.

The investigation relates to violent protests across the country that were sparked following the December arrest of former left-wing president Pedro Castillo after he attempted to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government in a failed coup d’etat.

Castillo was facing imminent impeachment charges over allegations that he had profited from government contracts.

Boluarte took over from Castillo on December 7. She had already ordered an investigation into deaths at demonstrations in December in the days following her inauguration.

On Monday, 17 people died in clashes between Castillo supporters, many of whom are poor indigenous Peruvians, and police in the southeastern city of Juliaca, in the bloodiest day since the violence erupted.

Otárola, meanwhile, had his investiture confirmed and survived a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday, and said that the government would declare a national day of mourning on Wednesday for the 47 people who have died in the protests in the past month.

He also announced that a nocturnal curfew would be imposed for the next three days.

“The ghost of irrational violence has returned to Peru”, he said, after reiterating his support for the country’s security forces.

The pro-Castillo protesters are demanding Boluarte’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, snap elections for this year and a new constitution. EFE


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