Preliminary probe begins into deaths during Castillo protests in Peru
The deaths recorded last month during violent protests are part of the complaints filed against incumbent President Dina Boluarte and the defense and interior ministers.
The Peruvian Prosecutor-General's Office opened a preliminary investigation into at least 28 deaths on Saturday. The deaths, recorded last month during violent protests in light of ousted President Pedro Castillo, are part of the complaints filed against incumbent President Dina Boluarte and the defense and interior ministers.
The prosecutor-general's office tweeted: "The national prosecutor's office has launched a preliminary investigation on complaints filed against the republic's president, Dina Boluarte, Alberto Otarola, who served as the defense minister, and Cesar Cervantes, former interior minister, and others. The complaints aim at conducting the probe into the deaths that occurred during the demonstrations in December 2022."
📢#FiscalíaInforma:— Ministerio Público (@FiscaliaPeru) January 6, 2023
La Fiscalía de la Nación dispuso realizar diligencias previas respecto a las denuncias presentadas contra la presidenta de la República, Dina Boluarte; Alberto Otárola, en su condición de ministro de Defensa; César Cervantes, exministro del Interior y otros. pic.twitter.com/PPVjR2Y2KB
Boluarte was sworn in as Peru's sixth President, on December 7, after ousting Pedro Castillo. By moving the elections from 2026 to 2024, Boluarte attempted to quell the mounting resentment on the streets. However, this did not appease the enraged Peruvians.
Since then, she has said that new elections may take place as early as December 2023. "Legally it works for April 2024, but by making some adjustments we can bring them forward to December 2023," Boluarte told reporters.
Castillo's supporters have nevertheless pushed for his release and early elections. To prevent Boluarte from being elected President, his opponents are calling for the dissolution of Congress and new elections.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Boluarte last month, calling on the leader carrying out massive suppression campaigns to push with reforms and "focus on reconciliation" despite thousands taking to the streets to protest in favor of Castillo.
He said: "The United States looks forward to working closely with President Boluarte on shared goals and values," the statement added, noting that Blinken stressed the need for all Peruvian actors "to engage in constructive dialogue to ease political divisions and focus on reconciliation."
The government of Peru on December 14 proclaimed a 30-day nationwide state of emergency to prevent protests that spurred since Castillo removed accusations of insurrection and conspiracy.