IACHR presents report on recent protests in Peru

Photo: ANDINA/Carla Patiño

Photo: ANDINA/Carla Patiño

12:07 | Lima, May. 3.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has issued its report on the human rights situation in Peru in the context of the protests that took place since December 2022. It established that 57 people died in them and called for an objective investigation to be conducted on the matter.

In this sense, said supranational institution indicated that the events during which these deaths occurred "should be investigated, tried, and punished" by prosecutors specialized in human rights.

"Besides, they must be judged by independent, competent, and impartial judges," it added.

According to the Spanish-language document, the IACHR "values the openness of the Peruvian State to host the visits paid in December 2022 and January 2023, as well as the information provided before, during, and after them" by representatives of said institution.

Among its conclusions and recommendations, the Commission indicated that the demands which had triggered the protests "must be addressed considering respect for the rule of law and due process."

It argued that "there are just demands by farming communities and indigenous peoples, such as access to rights under equal conditions and without any type of discrimination, as well as greater political representation."


The report stated that the IACHR observed during its visits "incessant confrontations among the State-run powers and successive crises of democratic and political institutions." These "have deepened the polarization and distrust of citizens in institutions," it indicated.

Likewise, it was verified that "there is a strong tension between Lima and the (other) regions, especially in the south of the country, where indigenous and farming population predominate."

"The IACHR verified a general deterioration of the public debate, with strong stigmatization due to ethnic-racial and regional factors, through messages that allude to indigenous and farming people as 'terrorists,' 'terrucos,' 'senderistas,' 'cholos' or ' Indios', among other derogatory terms," it specified, pointing out that these practices are discriminatory.

On the other hand, the IACHR pointed out that among the protesters "situations of violence were registered" outside the exercise of peaceful protest. However, it also indicated that these "do not exempt the responsibility of the State with respect to human rights violations."

"The Commission observes that the response by the State forces was not uniform throughout the national territory and that there were serious episodes of excessive use of force in specific cases." Thus, it referred to information collected in Lima, Ica, Arequipa, and Puno.

The IACHR indicated that there were episodes in which there was "disproportionate, indiscriminate, and lethal use of force."

The international entity pointed out that this is reflected in "the high number of people deceased and injured with wounds to the upper part of the body due to impacts from firearms, including pellets; as well as the location of a significant number of victims who were not even participating in the protest or were in the vicinity of the sources of conflict."

Final recommendations

Among its recommendations, the IACHR called on the Peruvian State to make reparations for the victims comprehensive.

Similarly, it stressed the need to investigate and punish those responsible for human rights violations that may have occurred. In this regard, the Commission offers technical assistance.

Furthermore, it proposed implementing a dialogue strategy "with an ethnic and territorial approach," guaranteeing the participation of indigenous peoples and farming communities.

Regarding police and military actions, it recommended "adopting a permanent and mandatory training and evaluation plan for the security forces that intervene in the development of demonstrations and protests so that their actions prioritize the defense of life and the integrity of all people."

At the institutional level, the IACHR recommended that the Peruvian State "refrain from adopting legislative or constitutional reforms that weaken the autonomy and independence of the National Electoral System or the Judiciary."

It also recommended "delimiting the mechanisms, such as constitutional accusation, presidential vacancy due to permanent moral incapacity, and unilateral dissolution of Congress.”

The latter ones must clearly and objectively determine "the punishable conducts and their corresponding consequences," it indicated.

"The IACHR makes itself available to the State to provide the technical cooperation required in order to implement the recommendations formulated in this report, including the establishment of a special follow-up mechanism," it stated.


Published: 5/3/2023