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 May 30, 2023

US Troops sent to Peru for training amid ongoing protests and allegations of repression

The US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which is in charge of US military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, will send hundreds of Marines and special forces troops to Peru as soon as this week, as the WSWS reported.

The goal of this mission is to train the Peruvian troops and the special forces units of the Peruvian National Police. People have said that these troops used massacres and executions outside of the court system to stop the large protests against Dina Boluarte's coup government.

Peru's Congress gave the go-ahead for the US deployment earlier this month. The ultra-right Fuerza Popular party and its friends made most of the decisions. With the help of the Boluarte government and the courts, Congress is building a more authoritarian state to control Peru's restless working class and oppressed people.

Since December, when President Pedro Castillo was removed from office and arrested, protests have been going on. When security forces tried to stop them, nearly 70 people have died. Many of these people were killed by live fire from the cops and the military, and hundreds more have been badly hurt.

Both Peruvian and US media haven't talked much about the US sending troops to Peru. Still, it's a clear sign that the Biden government and the Pentagon are supporting the continued repression. It also looks like an attempt to use the problem in Peru as a way to use the military to increase American control in the area.

Dina Boluarte has been asked to appear next week by Peru's top prosecutor as part of an ongoing investigation into her suspected role in the deaths of protesters after Castillo's ouster. Boluarte is being looked into along with other top government officials for possible crimes of "genocide, aggravated homicide, and serious injury."

A new report from Amnesty International says that the investigation may not be reliable. The story says that no one from the Peruvian security forces who were involved in the mass killings has been questioned by the country's Attorney General's office yet.

The investigation has been slowed down by a lack of resources, experts, and attorneys assigned to the cases, as well as by institutional changes made by the Attorney General that have made it harder to collect key evidence.

Amnesty International's report says that unarmed protesters in more than one part of Peru were shot with live ammunition. This suggests that top officers from the Peruvian Nationalist Party and the Peruvian Army were involved.

The report also accuses Boluarte and her ministers of "stigmatizing" the protesters and calling them terrorists without any evidence while praising the actions of the security forces.

Amnesty International found that some of the people who died in war zones like Andahuaylas, Chincheros, Ayacucho, and Juliaca were 15 and 16 years old.

The presence of US troops and claims of repression in Peru keep people worried about the situation and the possibility of more violence.

Investigations that are still going on and foreign scrutiny will be very important in figuring out who is to blame for the deaths and injuries that happened during the riots.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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