International condemnation of raids on the office of Confederación Campesina del Perú
On 17 December 2022, at least 50 members of the national police anti-terrorist unit, DIRCOTE, raided the offices of ESCR-Net members, Confederación Campesina del Perú (CCP), located on Plaza Bolognesi in Lima, Peru. During the raid more than 25 leaders of the organization and campesinos were arrested, many of whom had arrived in Lima to support the ongoing protests demanding elections and a closure of the Congress. Thanks to the support of legal advisors and the solidarity of fellow protesters that assembled in front of CCP’s offices, those arrested were released by the police around 10 pm. Nonetheless, according to our information, the arrested members of CCP are still under investigation.
ESCR-Net stands in solidarity with our members CCP and condemns the raid and arrests of peaceful protesters.
The raids took place in the context of nationwide protests in Peru, in response to the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo, who was removed from office by the opposition-led legislature and arrested on 7 December 2022, on charges of rebellion and conspiracy. The former Vice-President, Dina Boularte, was instated in his place shortly after.
In response to the ongoing protests, a 30-day state of emergency was declared on 14 December 2022. This has resulted in the deployment of military and police and limitations on the rights of assembly and movement. The protests have been met with severe repression including the use of live ammunition against protesters. At least 20 people have been killed, and hundreds have been wounded, with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights calling for restraint and dialogue amongst the parties.
The police claimed that the raids were to arrest criminal elements that were behind the protests in Peru. Similarly, the police claimed to have found weapons and subversive propaganda materials. However, according to reliable information, this consisted of three machetes appearing to be recently purchased as well as banners and flyers displaying the demands of the protesters.
We reiterate our solidarity with our members from CCP and call on the authorities to stop the persecution of human rights defenders in the context of the protests. We remind the authorities Peru of their obligations to respect the rights to freedom of speech and assembly as well as its obligations regarding constraints on any state of emergency in line with Article 4 of the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights and the related General Comment 29.
ESCR-Net - International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights connects over 280 NGOs, social movements and advocates across more than 75 countries to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.