Peru: Arrests for participating in Bolivarian conference

Issue 

Human rights group Rights Action, in a March 22 statement, said it was "extremely concerned about the current violations of fundamental human rights in Peru, particularly the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right of peaceful assembly and association".

The group reports that: "Following their participation in an internal and public congress of the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator (CCB) in Quito, Ecuador from February 24 to 28, seven members of the Peru chapter of the CCB were detained upon returning to Peru on terrorism charges.

"All are currently in prison, awaiting their legal trial in which they could face up to 20 years in prison. Six of the seven are women, four of these over fifty years of age, and one is known to have cancer."

Peru's attorney general has claimed that plans for terrorist activities were discussed at the CCB meeting — which appears to be related to plans for protests discussed at the meeting when the Latin American-European Union and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation international summits are held in Peru in May and November respectively.

According to the statement, "Peruvian officials have categorised current social protests ... as violent actions promoted by terrorist organizations associated with the subversive groups of the past and the Venezuelan government".

The CCB, according to the statement, is "a public forum that brings together civil society organizations interested in promoting the 'Bolivarian Revolution' in Latin America. The Bolivarian Revolution is a political concept based on a call for Latin American unity, socialist political ideals and the promotion of widespread protest activities as a means of resistance to global capitalism, and has been inspired by the movement in Venezuela."