Workers’ protests continue to rage in Peru

Peru’s trade unions held a general strike last 9 February to protest a parliamentary coup last December that put an end to the one-and-a-half-year presidency of democratically-elected President Pedro Castillo. The workers demanded the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, who they said undemocratically replaced Castillo, as well as the conduct of fresh elections, and the  enactment of a new constitution.

The trade unionists sustained their protests throughout February with massive demonstrations reported by media in Lima, Tacna, Arequipa, Puno and Cusco. Many of these protests were reportedly met with state violence, which only deepened Peru’s political crisis.  

Trade unions are deeply alarmed over the Boluarte government’s violent response to the protests. They also denounced the government’s different schemes to prevent workers from protesting, such as a travel ban to the capital, the centre of the massive demonstrations, and refusal to sit down with trade unions for a dialogue. To date, more than 60 people have been killed in various clashes, with 2,000 injured and another 1,000 protesters arrested. 

BWI-affiliated trade unions SUTRART, FETRACEPPE, SUTFACAP, SINTRACESANLO, SITRAFAPESA, and CGTP all vowed to continue the protests until a new government and constitution are realised. 

Related: Unions lament political crisis, reject democratic backsliding