Deadly protests have gripped Peru since Congress expelled the country’s first working-class president, Pedro Castillo.
Timeline of events since December 7, 2022:
Dec 7, 2022: The surprise winner of the July 2021 presidential election, Castillo comes under immediate attack from the right. On December 7 he attempts to dissolve Congress before it can debate a third impeachment motion against him and says he will form an emergency government and rule by decree.
Dec 7: Lawmakers vote overwhelmingly to remove him from office for “moral incapacity” to exercise power.
He is arrested for “rebellion”.
Vice President Dina Boluarte becomes Peru’s first woman president.
She says she intends to serve out the rest of Castillo’s term, until July 2026.
The United States pledges to work with Boluarte.
Dec 10: Pro-Castillo protests spread, with demonstrators blocking roads and burning tyres across the country.
Dec 11: Two people are killed in Andahuaylas in the south.
Dec 12: Hundreds of protesters temporarily block the airport runway in Peru’s second-biggest city, Arequipa. On December 14 Peru announces a 30-day nationwide state of emergency.
Dec 15: Castillo’s pre-trial detention is prolonged for 18 months.
Dec 16: The pro-Castillo protests spread to the town of Cusco, the gateway to Peru’s top tourist attraction, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, with rail services, road and air links closed.
Dec 20: As the death toll rises, Congress votes to bring forward the general election from 2026 to April 2024.
Jan 9, 2023: Eighteen people are killed in clashes with security forces triggered when demonstrators try to storm an airport in the southeastern city of Juliaca.
The prosecutor’s office says it will investigate Boluarte for genocide over the protests.
The next day Peru’s government declares a state of emergency in Lima and three other regions.
Jan 19: Clashes with police punctuate a march by thousands through the capital for a large anti-government rally.
Peru closes Machu Picchu on January 21.
On the 24th, Lima sees its most violent clashes since the start of the crisis.
Jan 26: The government says police and soldiers will dismantle roadblocks erected by protesters on the nation’s highways.
Jan 28: Congress rejects a request by Boluarte to advance elections to December 2023.
The Peruvian Foreign Minister led, in Washington DC, a meeting between Peruvian businessmen and their counterparts from the US Chamber of Commerce. Representatives of multinational companies from mining, finance, technology, and health, among other sectors attended the event. (Sounds a lot like Honduras 2009 and Ukraine 2014).
Anahi Durand is a sociologist, former Minister of Women & Vulnerable Populations for the Castillo Presidency and founder of Mujers por Una Nueva Constitución (Women for a New Constitution). Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnahiDurandG
Eliana Carlin is a Peruvian political scientist, lecturer and researcher. She is also Co-founder of Heroinas Peruanas and No a Keiko (Peruvian Heroines and No to Keiko). Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElianaCarlin
Translation provided by Carmelo Velasquez of Velasquez Translations, Buenos Aires
House Democrat letter to President Joe Biden asking him to halt security assistance to the government of Peru
WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean: Lawfare, the Case of Argentina and Peru
WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean is a Popular Resistance broadcast in partnership with Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Team, CODEPINK, Common Frontiers, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Friends of Latin America, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Massachusetts Peace Action and Task Force on the Americas.