CODEPINK expresses our utmost solidarity with the tens of thousands of Peruvians protesting the ongoing legislative coup against deposed president Pedro Castillo. Since Castillo was arrested on December 7, his supporters from all over the country have taken to the streets to demand 1) the release of ousted President Pedro Castillo from prison, 2) the dissolution of the current Congress, 3) the revocation of the 1993 constitution (instituted during the Fujimori dictatorship), and 4) the immediate installation of a new constitutional assembly to rewrite Peru’s constitution.
The coup president, Dina Boluarte, backed by the right-wing congress, has unleashed a violent campaign of terror against protesters. Peruvians on the street have been met with harsh state repression, with dozens injured and at least 4 people killed by state forces in Andahuaylas (Apurímac region). The victims were all teenagers. We echo the demands of Peru's popular movements and support their right to resist, defend their democracy and demand justice for the victims of this violence.
Peruvians, specifically campesinos and indigenous peoples, fought hard to elect a president that represented their interests. Pedro Castillo, a rural schoolteacher and unionist with a political agenda rooted in social justice, made history when he defeated a powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country’s political “Fujimori dynasty.” Since the start of his administration, Castillo faced a hostile right-wing congress (despite its 85% disapproval rating) and the country's oligarchy which did everything within its power to destabilize and overthrow him. In the first few months alone, there were two attempts to impeach him. In a desperate attempt to thwart the political aggression, Castillo made an appeal to the already discredited Organization of American States (OAS) to help preserve democracy in the country.
The racism and classism that continue to define social and political structures in Peru and most of Latin America have been on full display since Castillo took office. The political persecution against him intensified on December 7th, when Castillio was arrested after he temporarily dissolved Congress in order to avoid a third legislative coup attempt. Castillo also called for convening a Constituent Assembly within nine months and declared that until then he would rule by decree. Immediately after his arrest, Pedro Castillo was replaced by his vice president and Congress finally managed to get the votes needed to impeach him.
The U.S. government and the OAS were quick to legitimize the legislative coup against the elected president. Both released statements of support for the coup president.
We demand that the U.S. not interfere as Peruvians fight to stabilize their democracy.