In Peru there is persecution of ideas. In Peru there is no democracy. In Peru, more than sixty people have already been murdered, mostly “terrucos” from the public university (San Marcos, whose door number three was destroyed after the police entered with tanks and handcuffs to dozens of students; an image of a dictatorship: we never see big businessmen or bankers handcuffed to the floor, I will never see the great white-collar criminals who lacerate Latin America humiliated and handcuffed to the floor, they live under escort and in expensive neighborhoods: only the brown students from the public university in Callao are handcuffed to the ground like criminals) or poor “cholos” from the deep south who come down from the mountains to protest against the illegitimate government of Mrs. Boluarte. The Peruvian media are more concerned with showing the material damage caused by “vandalism” (broken windows, rubble on the street, graffiti that says “Genocidal State”, “Assassin Dynasty”, “New Constitution”) than with mentioning the deaths. In many media (Willax, a constant “troublemaker” media) even the deaths of protesters are justified with phrases like: “they are vandals, they asked for it.” In Peru there is no longer a full democracy, civil liberties are cut: there is no freedom of expression or protest. There are dozens of arbitrary prisons every day, protected by Fujimori’s old anti-terrorist law, a 1992 law that was harshly questioned in 1994 by Amnesty International. Two decades later, that ominous and unconstitutional law is still being used to imprison students and peasants. Fear has permeated different layers of civil society. Among them, human rights organizations and lawyers. There is fear of raising the voice. The Spanish photojournalist, from El Salto, Julio Ramos, who covered the war in Ukraine, saw how he killed a protester –a former San Marcos student– next to him. He has one eye broken by the pellets. He can’t see. The press associations, so quick in Argentina and other countries to defend “freedom”, have not said a single word about it.
Having a Criminal Law Manual may represent an act of “terrorism”
The National Human Rights Coordinator, the most important official body on the matter, has not taken a position against “terruqueo”. Neither did the Ombudsman. This encourages the idea that the murdered are “terrorists”. Any person (poor Andean women) who criticizes the government must clarify while she speaks “I am not a terrorist”.
One of Castillo’s lawyers, Indira Rodríguez Paredes, is the founder of the Coordinadora contra el terruqueo, an organization made up mostly of courageous women lawyers and anthropologists who seek to fill this legal vacuum. It is almost always the women who take the lead in the face of the silence of the men. In Argentina it was the Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. In Peru it is no different.
In Peru there is no democracy: in the preliminary arrest request of the Ayacucho case (prosecutor file 77; 2022) the names of eight people (women) appear and the seizure of books on “Criminal Law of the enemy”, an academic doctrine is ordered much discussed in the world. In Peru there is no academic freedom either. Having a Criminal Law Manual may represent an act of “terrorism”.
Whoever writes this page experienced a situation never experienced in any university in the world three days ago: that my admission to a public university (San Marcos) was prohibited, where I was going to present, and I was invited to present by the students, with the title “Latin American Criminal Law”. Those who denounce the government’s crimes are branded as “buggers” and are forbidden – and their allies – to speak. We went with Eugenio Zaffaroni to the Barbadillo prison, where former President Castillo is staying, and they did not abandon us, once they were inside under the sun, to see the president, who impersonated us in his own handwriting as his lawyers in the process before the Supreme Court of Peru. Nor is the right to defense respected in the trial of Pedro Castillo, the first rural, peasant president of Peru. There is no due process for him: there are no guarantees.
*National Director of the State Lawyers Corps School. Argentine Treasury Attorney (ECAE-PTN).
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