Carlos Posada: No more lies. The truth of what is happening in Peru
By Carlos Posada
Institutional Director of the Lima Chamber of Commerce (CCL)
On December 7 of last year, former President Pedro Castillo attempted to carry out a coup, illegally ordering the dissolution of the Congress of the Republic, the intervention of the Judiciary, the Public Ministry, the Constitutional Court and in turn ordering the capture of the prosecutor who is investigating him for the alleged and serious acts of corruption that compromise him along with his most intimate circle of officials and family members. It is from that specific date that Peru has been subjected to a wave of violence and vandalism that has not been spontaneous, but that it would have been gestated by Castillo himself throughout the 17 months that his government lasted.
As early as 2022, there were threats spread by Anibal Torres, president of Castillo’s Council of Ministers, who stated that “rivers of blood would flow” if Castillo left power; while his former Minister of Labor and Social Promotion, Alejandro Salas, warned that “the social upheaval would be so great that the country would be ungovernable.”
Today these threats have come true and began immediately after Castillo’s dismissal by Parliament and his subsequent arrest in flagrancy a few minutes later when he tried to escape to the Mexican embassy to request political asylum. It is from that moment that Peru is besieged by groups that, under the argument of “legitimate protest”, have dedicated themselves solely and exclusively to daily committing crimes and actions contrary to the Law, putting life and property at risk. health of Peruvian citizens, among which are also police troops and armed forces.
Unfortunately, many international media, which enjoy a wide audience, have disseminated versions that are completely untrue; In principle, pointing out that there was a coup against Castillo, when all Peruvians, without exception, witnessed on a national radio and television channel that the former president tried to carry out a failed coup, committing serious constitutional violations and crimes that led him to an immediate vacancy by Congress. Likewise, those same international media have pointed out that in Peru there is a genocide perpetrated by the succession government of Dina Boluarte. Totally tendentious information and tremendously far away from the reality that we live in the country.
This fable is the one that has also been repeated in various towns and regions of Peru, especially in the south of our nation, where, in the face of a failed truthful communication strategy by the authorities of the current government, they have been easily manipulated by extremist groups that have their sole objective is the imposition of a new Constitution that guarantees their perpetuation in power.
To this must be added the discontent of decades due to the lack of attention to basic needs that have not received attention from the State, populations for whom economic growth has not meant the arrival of well-being and development as it has happened with other citizens.
At the Lima Chamber of Commerce, we want to be clear to the world: In Peru there is no dictatorship or genocide; what exists is the legitimate defense of a democratic State and the demand for compliance with the Law, which is applied against very well-organized groups to destabilize the country and that have simultaneously and organizedly attacked airports, public infrastructure, as well as substantial damage to private property, among other damages that daily affect the country. Nor can it fail to mention situations of extreme cruelty on the part of the so-called ”protesters”, who in their acts of “protest” burned a policeman alive, who had no option to defend himself. A similar situation has been suffered by the police officers in charge of safeguarding the security of roads, airports and public and private institutions, where they are attacked with explosives, incendiary bombs, rocks thrown at high speed and even ammunition whose use is prohibited.
The cruelty that has been reached is such that as a result of the illegal roadblocks and violent acts, several Peruvian compatriots have died, including children, whose ambulances did not reach their destination after being attacked and set on fire.
Let’s speak with the truth: it is no coincidence that the attackers have directed their actions towards strategic objectives such as mining, tourism and agribusiness, pillars that largely support the economy of Peru. In the same way towards police headquarters, decentralized headquarters of the Judiciary, the Public Ministry and Customs, where investigation files were found on the smuggling mafias, illegal mining, drug trafficking and human trafficking that dominate a large part of the area. southern Peruvian Andes. All those files have been vandalized and burned.
Similarly, mining camps, gas and drinking water plants have been attacked, preventing this service from reaching the population. Another objective has been the “Norperuano pipeline”, which has been cut causing an oil spill in the Amazon. The brigades sent to repair the damage and prevent further contamination have in many cases been prevented from reaching the area.
On the highways, the blockades mainly target trucks that transport food and medicine, with the clear purpose of generating need and despair in the cities. And patients who try to be treated in a hospital or health center are forced to leave under the threat of attacking their integrity and that of doctors and nurses.
This is not a spontaneous protest from an impatient population. These are violent acts of a political nature, disguised as social protest. Although it is true that there is a need to close the gaps in Peru, in no way can this type of action be accepted outside the Law. It is true that there are unsatisfied demands, that inequity in Peruvian society is an enormous debt that the economic growth of the last decades did not know or did not want to attend. It is true that the pandemic showed that the enormous resources of the Peruvian State were not used to improve basic health and education services; or that laziness, corruption and indifference, in many cases, won the game.
But all these shortcomings and fair requirements cannot be used as an excuse to justify illegal actions and outside the Law that seek to force a “constituent moment” not protected and not stated by the Constitution of Peru.
Although there is not a single vision in this story, the voices that opt for peace and dialogue, such as the Lima Chamber of Commerce, also deserve to be heard. Faced with a violence that screams, that damages, we want to say enough of lies, enough of accommodating reality to personal and ideological interests. The world must know the real history of what is happening in Peru and this small text seeks to contribute in that regard