December 7: One Year after the Great Peasant and Indigenous Revolt

December 7 marks one year since the attempted coup of former President Pedro Castillo and his subsequent removal from office by Congress. As of this date, Dina Boluarte assumed the presidency of Peru and immediately established an alliance with the most conservative, mafia-like people who lost the 2021 presidential elections. Congress also quickly abandoned an agenda that was created to vindicate rights in favor of the most impoverished communities and populations of the country for what it had been elected. After Castillo’s dismissal on December 7, a great popular mobilization of peasant and indigenous people was unleashed, which shook the country.

The mobilization began in the heart of the Peruvian South Andean region, specifically in Andahuaylas – Apurimac, and quickly spread to Ayacucho, Cusco, Arequipa, and Ica. Social organizations and populations with a marked peasant and indigenous presence began to disown Dina Boluarte’s government and demand shutting down Congress. The Barrio Chino in Ica, an area where the most exploitative labor regime takes place, people set up road blockades; in the Arequipa district of Chala, the mobilizations brought together a majority of the population of indigenous and peasant origin who had to migrate to the coast in search of work.

In Andahuaylas – Apurimac, indigenous women were among the first to rise up and organize community shared meals to sustain the popular protest. Communities, neighborhood organizations, markets, and defense fronts sustained this revolt that quickly spread to the Andean South. The peasant communities mobilized en masse to the major cities, and by January 2023 the protests resumed. The communities even decided to mobilize as far as Lima, the country’s capital, to make their voices heard. People in these mobilizations demanded the resignation of Dina Boluarte, the shutting down of Congress and a new Constitution, among other slogans.

Also from the beginning, the government answered with a brutal and bloodthirsty police and military repression. The IACHR has recognized that massacres were committed, due to the massiveness of the attacks and the indiscriminate use of force. According to the National Human Rights Coordinating Committee, to date 49 people have been killed and a hundreds injured by the illegitimate use of state force. Almost a year after the events, no police or military officer has been sanctioned for these acts. That is, despite the fact that the state developed a policy of persecution and arbitrary arrests, including the imprisonment of young peasants for protesting in Cuyo Grande in Cusco and agrarian workers in Ica. The violations and humiliations of the mobilized indigenous population were reiterated, and reflected the racism and indifference of a majority of society in major cities towards the original inhabitants of this country.

One year after these historic and painful events, the political and economic situation is getting worse and worse. Particularly, the Congress of the Republic has consolidated its power, together with allies such as Patricia Benavides, who despite evidence of corruption was only been suspended from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Authoritarianism and Fujimorism have achieved one of their main objectives: the release of former dictator Alberto Fujimori, an action facilitated by Dina Boluarte, who continues to serve the interests of the mafias and large economic groups, which has become evident in recent days.

For their part, the mining associations, concerned about guaranteeing their investments, have asked that the institutional crisis not be detrimental to them. Accordingly, Dina Boluarte and Premier Alberto Otárola have already announced the re-promotion of mining projects, despite the fact that these will cause even greater rejection and social conflicts, as has occurred with similar projects in recent decades. In the midst of this serious crisis, the mining business continues to strengthen and is testing the waters to secure its projects. For this reason, they have proposed a series of reforms to guarantee their investments at the expense of environmental institutions and to the detriment of the rights of Indigenous Peoples (PPII). Undoubtedly, the reaction of the organizations impacted by mining will not be long coming. In the last few weeks, massive peasant mobilizations in defense of water have already taken place in Candarave, Tacna, and Lambayeque.

To summarize, one year after the Boluarte regime and its authoritarian alliance, it is necessary to state that the agendas that led to the massive mobilizations are more valid than ever, and the institutional decomposition of the state in all its spheres has not been stopped. Police impunity, the criminalization of demonstrators, corruption, and the shielding of high state authorities have also not been curbed. Racism and discrimination against mobilized communities and indigenous peoples also continue to be rampant. On the other hand, the complicity of businessmen and mining associations to take advantage of the crisis to expand their businesses is evident, thus risking the reactivation of social conflicts in the territories due to so many unsatisfied demands. For all of the above reasons, and in the face of the deterioration of democracy and respect for human rights in our country, it is time to organize and mobilize for a new social contract.


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Somos una red de instituciones peruanas que, actuando local, regional, nacional e internacionalmente, defiende y promueve el reconocimiento, respeto y ejercicio de los derechos de comunidades y poblaciones, así como el desarrollo sostenible en situaciones en las cuales se pretende realizar y/o se vienen realizando actividades mineras abordando sus implicancias sociales, ambientales y culturales.

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