Peruvians took to the streets of the country's capital Lima in large numbers on February 25 to protest against the pro-corporate Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 12 Pacific Rim nations.
The huge free trade deal, which is set to involve 40% of world GDP, was signed by government representatives in New Zealand in early February, although it still needs to be approved by the signatory nations' parliaments. It aims to open up markets for transnational firms to the detriment of the populations of the nations that signed the agreement.
This is the fifth time Peruvians have demonstrated against the TPP, which was negotiated in almost total secrecy.
Thousands of people peacefully marched toward Peru's Congress before police violently attacked demonstrators, TeleSUR correspondent Rael Mora said. Police used sticks, shotguns and tear gas, and arrested about 25 people, the group Collective Dignity said.
Videos and photos of police brutality have been posted on social media. Users strongly condemned the silence of Peruvian mainstream news outlets in the face of the protest and the police violence that ensued.
Many human rights groups have strongly condemned the TPP, claiming it would limit the power of the state in sectors such as health, environmental safety and labour rights at the expense of the most vulnerable sectors of society.
Signatory nations to the TPP are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]