Peru The cry of those without a voice photos

Peru: The cry of those without a voice (+ photos)

By Patricia Espinosa Valdés, journalism student

Peru is again experiencing a political and social crossroads. The silence of those who suffer from poverty in a rich country seems to have ended. The firing and imprisonment of Pedro Castillo after he dissolved Congress without due constitutional support was the final straw.

Lima became a battlefield.  Photo: TelesurLima became a battlefield. Photo: Telesur

Since what happened on December 7, 2022, demonstrations have escalated across the country. The first to speak were Castillo’s supporters, to whom the teacher represented forgotten Peru.

These indigenous groups and students from the southern Andes were joined by students from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and the General Confederation of Workers of Peru.

Repression penetrated the university.  Photo: worldRepression penetrated the university. Photo: world

What started in some southern cities has reached the capital for the “conquest of Lima” and they are currently calling for a nationwide strike. They first called for Castillo’s release, in addition to the resignation of President-elect Dina Boluarte, and called for general elections to renew the Legislature and Congress.

This has led to repression by the police and army that has killed more than 60 people, including one police officer.

But would they stabilize the country if the petitions were accepted under pressure from the “March of the Four,” also cataloged, in a nod to the major protest that led to the resignation of former President Alberto Fujimori in 2000?

To paraphrase a popular Cuban expression, no matter how much water is put on the dominoes, the tiles don’t change. Boluarte hesitates to leave the presidential chair.

“I will not give up. My commitment is Peru. We are open to dialogue, and if the terrorist groups (as he called the protesters) want to reach consensus, they must change their agenda, because that is not possible,” he said in his speeches.

Which Peru are you talking about? Will it be the departments of Cajamarca and Huancavelica, which, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics of this country, oscillate between 43.8% and 50.9% of the worst poverty? Or those tired of rolling left to right like “a hot potato” have exercised their right to peacefully protest and are instead being shot on the pretense of doing their duty and maintaining public order?

Peru needs peace and stability. Its residents urgently need to solve the problem of water supply, shortages in agriculture, health care and education.

The same difficulties that serve as bait to win presidential campaigns; However, once in power, they are forgotten, ignored, or their rulers obstructed, as was the case with Castillo, who always stood between the wall and Congress.

Though he wasn’t the only one. In Peru, the President and Congress are playing cat and mouse. Given the difficult coexistence that can exist, the leaders move their chips.

Under the 1993 Magna Carta, the President can dissolve Congress if he discredits or refuses confidence in two cabinets in the same government.

In return, Congress has the vacancy mechanism for moral or physical incompetence. A measure included in the Peruvian constitutions since 1839.

Omar Cairo, professor of constitutional law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, told BBC Mundo that “The Andean country is the only country in the world that has the institution of vacancy for moral incompetence. Any time congressmen deem the president immoral, they have the discretion to remove him with just the power of votes, and that term ‘immoral’ is something very dangerous today.”

1674668119 232 Peru The cry of those without a voice photosPhoto: Portal

Boluarte stated in one of his speeches that “holding a constituent assembly will take years, look at the example of Chile”.

But are fair trials overnight?

The Andean nation needs political changes. In 6 years it has had 5 presidents and two congresses, all riddled with corruption.

Now “the weaker side” pulls on the rope. As many of the protesters say, “People have woken up and we will not stop until justice is done for the brothers who fell in this struggle.”