© Reuters. Kin mourn victims one month after the deadliest clashes in anti-government protests towards Peru’s President Dina Boluarte, in Juliaca, Peru February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
By Alexander Villegas
JULIACA, Peru (Reuters) – 1000’s of demonstrators marched by means of Peru’s southern metropolis of Juliaca on Thursday to commemorate the one-month anniversary of clashes that left 19 folks lifeless within the metropolis, the worst violence in over two months of anti-government protests.
Members of the family and protesters amassed below an overpass for a memorial to the victims after marching previous concrete street obstacles nonetheless pockmarked with bullet holes and the shuttered airport guarded by troopers and police.
The city within the Andean area of Puno has been rocked by protests for the reason that Dec. 7 ouster of leftist President Pedro Castillo. Clashes on Jan. 9 left 18 lifeless, together with one police officer. One other protester died days later.
The violence was the one deadliest day within the protests that themselves mark the worst unrest Peru has seen in over 20 years, posing an immense problem to the brand new authorities in Lima and threatening mining operations on this planet’s no. 2 producer.
On Thursday, as households mourned the lifeless, some protesters in different cities joined requires a wider nationwide strike. Army plane often flew overhead because the ceremony commemorating the victims happened.
“The Puno area actually got here out in help, we’re not one, we’re many,” mentioned Ruth Meza, who mentioned her classmate Elmer Solano was killed within the Juliaca clashes.
Peru’s southern Andes, the point of interest of the protests, is residence to the well-known Incan ruined metropolis of Machu Picchu and big reserves of copper, however lags behind a lot of the nation in training, well being and revenue ranges.
The jailed Castillo, a former trainer and union chief, retains help amongst many such communities, who’re demanding constitutional change and an overhaul of Congress, in addition to his launch.
MASS FOR PROTEST DEAD
Luis Zambrano, a priest who performed a mass for relations on Wednesday, mentioned that whereas protesters have been typically violent, he believed authorities reacted with an excessive amount of pressure.
“They did not come to calm the waters,” he mentioned.
Throughout Zambrano’s mass, a show desk with images of those that died within the protests rapidly overflowed and needed to be rearranged as extra relations arrived, with crowds spilling out of the church.
Members of the family of those that misplaced their lives met with attorneys and the native ombudsman after the mass. They mentioned they wished to hunt justice from a authorities which had performed little to help them.
Nivardo Enriquez, the ombudsman, mentioned his workplace was working with the native prosecutor to supply proof, testimonies and post-mortem reviews.
“(The prosecutor’s workplace) is doing its job,” Enriquez mentioned. “And we hope it is being performed with the corresponding pace.”
Dionisio Aroquipa instructed Reuters his 17-year-old daughter Jhamileth Nataly had been killed within the protests. Reuters was not in a position to instantly verify the small print of his account.
“Those that have been protesting have been caught, they have been investigated. However for the deaths? There’s virtually no justice,” mentioned Aroquipa.
He mentioned his daughter, a psychology pupil in Bolivia, volunteered at an animal charity and hoped to journey to Brazil and Argentina.
“She had goals,” Aroquipa mentioned. “However on the subject of investigation into what occurred to my daughter, you do not see any progress.”