Peru Amnesty International Report: Call for Investigation into State-Ordered Protester Deaths

Lima, Peru – Amnesty International has called for a thorough investigation into the 49 deaths that occurred during protests in Peru from December to February. The organization highlighted the need to scrutinize those at the highest levels who ordered or allowed the use of lethal force by security forces.

According to Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, the use of lethal firearms against protesters showed a disregard for human life. Most of those killed were demonstrators, observers, and bystanders, many of whom were from poor, Indigenous, and rural backgrounds.

The report, titled “Lethal racism: Extrajudicial executions and unlawful use of force by Peru’s security forces,” examined 52 cases of people killed or wounded during protests in various cities. This included 25 deaths, of which 20 may constitute extrajudicial executions carried out by state forces.

In addition to calling for investigations, Amnesty International also pointed out a possible racial and socio-economic bias in the use of lethal force, with a disproportionately high number of deaths in areas home to historically marginalized populations.

The organization criticized the Peruvian authorities for their response to the protests, stating that instead of condemning the excessive use of force, the highest-ranking officials encouraged it by publicly praising the actions of the security forces. The report also pointed out possible criminal complicity in concealing the weapons used to carry out killings.

Despite the severity of the human rights violations, Amnesty International highlighted the failure of Peru’s Attorney General’s Office to conduct prompt and thorough investigations. The lack of resources, experts, and prosecutors allocated to these cases has undermined the collection of key evidence and investigation process.

Amnesty International called on the Attorney General’s Office to ensure prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations, and to guarantee victims’ access to justice. They also urged President Dina Boluarte to condemn and put an end to the security forces’ use of lethal force in response to protests, and to assess the structural racism within state institutions.