The Congress of Peru has requested the departure of the interim president, Manuel Merino, less than a week after taking office in replacement of the dismissed Martin Vizcarra, after blaming him for the police repression of protesters who claimed two lives on Saturday.
On the sixth day of protests against Merino, the Police fired rubber pellets at the protesters and killed two university students: Jack Bryan Pintado Sánchez, 22 years old and Jordan Inti Sotelo Camargo, 24 years old. Both of them bled to death after being attacked by officers with firearms.
The deployment of the Police to repress the protesters, which ABC witnessed throughout the week, consisted of the use of trucks with water; firearms that fired rubber pellets and glass marbles; indiscriminate use of tear gas and motorcycles in movement to break up protests.
The protests began after President Martín Vizcarra was removed from office with 105 votes on November 9, for permanent moral incapacity after allegedly receiving bribes when he was regional president of Moquegua, located in southern Peru.
The political parties who voted for the exit from Vizcarra were Popular Action, Alliance for Progress, Broad Front, Popular Agricultural Front of Peru (FREPAP), We are Peru and Union for Peru.
The protest that was held on Saturday in Lima brought together thousands of people who protested against Merino from two in the afternoon until after midnight. These protests are organized by young people under 35 years of age, who summon through social networks: Tik tok, Instagram and Twitter; and who move around the city with irreverent songs, dances and signs.
The police repression began hours later, when the young people arrived at Abancay Avenue, a few blocks from Congress, and, from that moment, everything got out of control, because the Police detained a large group of protestersAt the same time, he attacked others, the health brigades who cared for the wounded and the workers who sell food, along with their minor children.
Wave of resignations
When the death of the two students was confirmed, a wave of resignations occurred in the cabinet made up by 18 ministers and where 13 have resigned so far. The interim prime minister, Antero Flores Araoz, said that out of “loyalty,” he will not resign from office. «If the president leaves, I will go with him. I cannot leave it alone to the president.
«I express the solidarity of the Government (to the victims). We regret this that has happened. We regret these acts of violence. We have tried by all means to avoid it, “he said while denying that the interim president, Manuel Merino, had thought to resign from office.
For the Secretary General of Transparency, Iván Lanegra, «except for some personal interest, there is no reason to delay Merino’s resignation. What has to be done now is that Congress reaches a political agreement that will allow it to regain a minimum of confidence in the management of the government that will allow it to gain legitimacy and thus overcome this crisis.
«In addition, on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court can add certainty, settling doubts about legality of the decisions taken, “he added to ABC.
For Lanegra, “the ministers are, in principle, the political leaders of the two victims. If it was found that they gave instructions that increased the risk of violation of fundamental rights, not complying with the standards set by the United Nations, they could also have criminal responsibility. They will be remembered as one of the most incapable ministerial teams in our history.
Disappears in protest
The National Human Rights Coordinator reported today that after the protest in Lima there are about 100 injured and 20 protesters, of which three are women, who are missing. They also reported that there was a case of sexual violence against one of the protesters by the Police.
Regarding the repression of the protests, the congressman of the Morado Party, Alberto de Belaunde, told ABC that “what has existed in the Merino government is a premeditated policy of violation of human rights where social protest and violation of fundamental rights has been stigmatized.
«Mr. Flores Araoz has been of a level of insensitivity and cynicism which is rebellious. His performance will not only be judged from politics but also in a criminal jurisdiction, “he concluded.
In Peru, since he was elected president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) in 2016, political crises have occurred one after the other, because the leaders of the main political parties in Congress were affected your financial interests and they began to face justice for various serious crimes.
PPK was forced to resign after two vacancy processes against him in March 2017. Then PPK was succeeded by Martin Vizcarra, who after being dismissed by Congress replaced Manuel Merino, which hangs by a thread.
If finally forced to resign, Merino would be replaced by another member of Congress. With this, Peru will have had four presidents in the last four years, a record for one of the most praised countries in South America for its good economic performance.