Investigation into genocide launched against Peru's Boluarte
Peru's Attorney General launches an investigation against Peru's President and several ministers over alleged crimes of genocide and grievous bodily harm.
The Peruvian Attorney General's Office confirmed Tuesday it has launched an investigation into genocide against incumbent President Dina Boluarte, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, and others over citizens killed during anti-government protests in December 2022 and January 2023.
"The Attorney General has ordered a preliminary investigation against President Dina Boluarte, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, Interior Minister Victor Rojas, and Defense Minister Jorge Chavez," the office said in a statement.
According to the statement, "The preliminary investigation is related to the alleged crimes of genocide, murder, and grievous bodily harm committed during the demonstrations of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Puno, Junin, Arequipa, and Ayacucho."
A couple of days ago, at least 17 people were killed in Peru as police authorities cracked down on protesters attempting to storm an airport in the Puno region's southeastern city of Juliaca, said an official from the local ombudsman's office, as quoted by AFP.
It is noteworthy that the Peruvian Prosecutor-General's Office opened on January 7 a preliminary investigation against Boluarte, Otarola, and others over the death of at least 28 during the demonstrations in December 2022.
On December 7, Peru's Parliament impeached former President Pedro Castillo and security forces arrested him. Then-Vice President Boluarte took an oath as the country's new President within two hours of the impeachment vote.
Castillo, who had tried to dissolve the parliament before the vote, was arrested after the impeachment and the Peruvian prosecutor's office launched a criminal case against him on charges of an alleged coup attempt and crimes against the state.
The events have sparked a wave of protests across the country. Demonstrators denounce the post-impeachment government and call for an immediate presidential election and the dissolution of the country's parliament. According to the latest estimates, at least 46 people died since December 10.
Peruvian Cabinet receives vote of confidence in Parliament
The government of Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola received on Tuesday a vote of confidence, a day after 18 people died in the clashes between protesters and police in the southern city of Juliaca.
"With regard to the governance of the country, the Plenary of the Congress approved the vote of confidence proposed by the head of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers. 73 votes in favor, 43 against and 6 abstentions," the parliament tweeted.
In late December, lawmakers in the Peruvian Congress conditionally endorsed a motion to hold early elections in 2024. This is part of an effort to appease the political upheaval that has wreaked havoc throughout the country since the removal of Castillo as President.
The legislative proposal, approved by a two-thirds majority, is intended to permit elections in April 2024. However, the legislation must be ratified in the following legislative session to take effect.
Both the presidential and legislative elections were originally set for 2026, but lawmakers moved them ahead two years since the proposed initiative was one of the primary demands of demonstrators opposing Castillo's ouster. Boluarte had said she will not step down despite protests intensifying in Peru calling for her resignation.